Adaptable production systems and flexible process chains

Conventional production systems often prove to be too inflexible for a large number of variants or even the complete individualization of products. Changing quality requirements, but also highly individualized products, demand a lot from process control. Flexible and adaptable control of automated processes and process sequences in complex and highly individualized production environments is required.

Together with partners from industry and research, Fraunhofer IPT is developing concepts and software solutions for the flexible networking and control of such production systems: rigid process chains are being replaced by freely interlinked processes, resulting in production systems capable of transformation from the store floor to the enterprise level.

To this end, Fraunhofer IPT translates scientific approaches of Industry 4.0 and IIoT into marketable software products – from service-oriented machine connectivity through communication standards (e.g. I4.0 management shell, OPC-UA and MQTTw) for control and data integration to the integration of artificial intelligence for efficient production control (e.g. scheduling, process parameter optimization or decision support).

The high degree of networking of the individual systems and devices, end-to-end data acquisition, and the seamless integration of measurement technology into process control make the newly created complexity in automated production individually and flexibly manageable. This creates a basis for systems that are able to adapt and optimize themselves independently. Sustainability and IT security also play an important role in concept and software development.

So that you too can flexibly design your production processes, we offer you "COPE", an adaptive control software for the efficient automation of your production environment: COPE controls all processes and monitors plant, equipment and material usage. Resources are managed by a customizable scheduling algorithm. The software reacts flexibly to changes in quality parameters and immediately adapts process sequences to the new conditions. In addition, the software has various logging functions that ensure data consistency at process and device level. A user-friendly interface shows the user all relevant functions and data and supports evaluation.

Industry 4.0 in practice

"COPE" is an adaptive control software for efficient automation in the production environment and contributes as smart factory software to make Industry 4.0 a reality.

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Production systems and equipment

Customized production in fully automated production plants provides an example of how networked, adaptive systems can be used to make even highly individual production processes flexible and efficient.

Measuring cells and test systems

By using flexible solutions for networking and control, multi-variant test sequences can be automated cost-effectively.

Project examples

Publicly funded projects enable us to break new technological ground. This selection of our projects will give you an idea of the direction in which we are heading.

Small quantities up to batch size 1

In the "freeMoVe" project, we have enabled a versatile, highly variant assembly organization for small quantities up to batch size 1.


Automated cell production

As a flexible production system, the fully automated "StemCellFactory III" enables the processing of individual iPS cells. The software controls all devices and reacts flexibly to changing system states.



Agile assembly for the automotive industry

The research project AIMFREE aims at the parallelization of workstations and the implementation of adaptability and flexibility in automotive final assembly.

Plant measuring cell

The measuring cell performs automated geometry measurements of plants. Sensors are used, which are guided by the kinematics of the measuring cell. Flexible process control and networking enable the creation of individual treatment sequences and consistent data management.

Assistance systems and smart devices

In the "reQenrol" project, an assistance system is being developed that enables competence-based workforce scheduling and training for employee empowerment in production.

Energy-oriented production control

In the research project "eMES" we developed the software prototype of an energy-oriented system for production and machine control and monitoring.

Predictive analysis for make-to-order production

The research project "PARSyP" dealt with the predictive analysis of production data with the aim of gaining planning security in make-to-order production.

English publications

Digital twin

(Göppert et al., 2021): Pipeline for ontology-based modeling and automated deployment of digital twins for planning and control of manufacturing systems, Fraunhofer IPT, 2021.

Control software

(Jung et al., 2018): Highly modular and generic control software for adaptive cell processing on automated production platforms, Fraunhofer IPT, 2018.