Flexible production systems for “Batch Size 1”

Self-optimizing production processes

Lowering production costs via smart control algorithms

Smart sensor systems for machine tools

Online/offline process and process chain adaptivity

The term adaptivity is synonymous with a new form of fl exibility and adaptability of production processes and process chains which are self-adapting and optimizing. In its research and development projects, the Fraunhofer IPT addresses the challenges associated with planning both individual steps and the entire production process, in a virtual environment and in a simulation-assisted process then implements these in the corresponding machines, equipment and software systems.

Lowering production costs via smart control algorithms

Developments such as increasing diversity in the range of variations available or new supply concepts from the energy sector are driving demands for the capacity to provide vast amounts of information swiftly and, in some cases, globally. Classical goal criteria used in production planning such as machine utilization or throughput times are accompanied in the age of Industry 4.0 by further information relating to factors such as time-related risks or energy consumption. New production planning and control concepts which take account of these data can make a major contribution towards lowering production costs.

Flexible production systems for “Batch Size 1”

Personalized therapies are assuming an increasingly important role in modern medicine: The majority of the concepts relating to individualization are patient-centered and focus on complex and correspondingly high-cost medical products such as dentures, exoprostheses or osteosynthesis material. Economically efficient manufacture of highly customized products, i.e. “Batch Size 1” is an important aim in this context. The central challenge facing production engineering is the need to enable companies to produce these customized products industrially and, at the same time, economically.

Self-optimizing production processes

Self-optimization is an important control principle in adaptive systems. The extension of classical control principles to include autonomous goal redefinition makes it possible to establish artificial intelligence in technical systems. In conjunction with the availability of real time information, this paves the way for the creation of robust and at the same time flexible production systems even in highly dynamic Industry 4.0 environments.

Smart sensor systems for machine tools

The efficiency of machine tools is based largely on highly developed electro-mechanical sub-assemblies. However, smart, embedded systems have so far failed to advance very far. The use of sensors is usually limited to the most important safety functions or to automatic calibration of tool and workpiece. There is usually a centralized information processing unit which collects all of the signals in one operation and analyzes them.