EVOLOPRO – Evolutionary self-adaptation of complex production processes and products

The aim of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project "EVOLOPRO" is the development of a Biological Manufacturing System, which complements already existing industrial work within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft within the research focus of biological transformation 4.0 by new biological mechanisms.

The seven institutes involved intend to use evolutionary mechanisms to develop a new generation of production systems: Biological Manufacturing Systems should be able to adapt independently to new requirements and environmental conditions in the same way as biological organisms. Unlike nature, these systems do not need many millennia for this, but rather undergo their evolution within a very short time. A special feature is that manufacturing errors are not seen as defective, but - as in biological development – as a valuable resource for adaptation and further development.  

For this form of evolution, EVOLOPRO relies not only on new algorithms based on biology, but also on the principle of the digital twin, which now interacts with its digital environment. According to the principle of the "survival of the fittest", i.e. the continuation of the best-fit, the differences between the desired component and its actual state should already be analyzed and evaluated in the digital world.

In order to validate the calculated results, demonstrators are to be developed in three different pilot applications: a single component, the assembly of several individual components and a temporary interaction of several individual components with each other.  

Since a Biological Manufacturing System can become extremely complex, other institutes with a focus on production and materials technology as well as information technology are involved in addition to the Fraunhofer IPT, which is in charge of the EVOLOPRO project, and contribute their respective expertise.

The project was selected as one of three out of a total of 18 project proposals and is being funded by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft with a total of eight million euros from January 2019 over a period of four years.  

Contributing Institutes 

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT (Coordinator) 
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM  
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF  
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS  
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU  
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT  
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI