Press and Media

Here you can find our press information and high-resolution images for your editorial reporting. Publications about the Fraunhofer IWU are explicity desired.

  • Helpful for medium-sized businesses in times of skilled labor shortage / 2023

    Matrix production and SWAP-IT: as versatile as a Swiss Army knife

    July 25, 2023

    Utilization-optimized, flexibly arranged production modules equipped via driverless transport systems which can manufacture a variety of products; a production planning and control system that can flexibly allocate these modules and, through segmentation and intelligent distribution of manufacturing tasks, make it possible to produce large-size components in small facilities: Matrix production and SWAP-IT create a production infrastructure that enables highly efficient manufacturing of even smaller quantities. But that is not all. Such infrastructure also stimulates new ways of working when previously manual tasks need to be automated. Relevant impulses for continuous further qualification come from the InTeleMat project: allowing businesses to rely on valuable human labor even more effectively.

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  • In South Africa's capital, Cape Town, and near the Namibian port city of Walvis Bay, so-called microgrids will contribute to a sustainable and emission-free power supply. These systems combine electrolyzers for green hydrogen production with fuel cells for its reconversion to electricity: the microgrids store electricity generated from solar and wind power as hydrogen and convert it back to electricity when needed. In Walvis Bay, a local school will use the oxygen produced during electrolysis to treat wastewater for irrigation purposes in its cultivation areas.

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  • Fraunhofer IWU at Automatica 2023, Hall A4 Booth 321 / 2023

    Quality forecasts in production: reliable and real-time thanks to Artificial Intelligence

    June 20, 2023

    What about predicting with high certainty whether a component meets the quality requirements even while a machining step is in progress? Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes it possible. The AI solutions developed at Fraunhofer IWU represent an improvement over previous in-line inspection systems, eliminating the need for time-consuming removal for testing purposes. Such quality forecasts during processing can be integrated into many industrial manufacturing processes, often in combination with existing, cost-effective sensors. However, this AI can also be used for optimization purposes. It can help control process input parameters, such as avoiding scrap from the outset or reducing energy consumption in production without compromising quality.

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  • How do humans work together with machines? How can digital assistants support employees in the factory without overwhelming them with their complexity? How can technology designed around the needs and strengths of humans help them make their creativity more valuable? Or contribute to preserving valuable experiential knowledge of older employees and inspiring them for innovative production technology? Dr. habil. Franziska Bocklisch and her new group "Cognitive Teaming of Human and Cyber-Physical Production Systems" are investigating these questions at Fraunhofer IWU. They are assured that if the coexistence of humans and technology evolves into a true collaboration - a teaming - producing companies can still achieve significant efficiency potentials.

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  • Cobots need to perform many safe motion functions to work alongside humans: The central safety logic must process multiple sensors and their data, resulting in many cables connecting sensors and actuators in traditional robot architectures and proprietary solutions. The new safety architecture developed by Fraunhofer IWU, Synapticon GmbH and Taiwan’s NexCOBOT relies on a decentralized approach: The new architecture enables a wide range of industrial robots to work safely alongside humans in dynamically changing work situations, with a significantly reduced cabling effort, as only power and communication must be routed to the drives. In addition, valuable reaction time is saved since the safe movement is monitored directly on the axis.

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  • Fraunhofer IWU at the Hannover Messe / 2023

    Reusable open source design kit for electrically powered pool vehicles

    April 03, 2023

    Manufacturing automobiles requires energy and resources on a large scale. Higher vehicle mileage could result in a significant drop in the continuous ener-gy demand during production, while also reducing the extraction of natural resources considerably. This is where the KOSEL research project comes in; a project that has seen the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU join forces with partners from industry and research: Vehicle components that have a long service life can be used over several vehicle life cycles and therefore do not need to be produced anew. With this in mind, the project team has developed a closed-loop open-source modular system that consists of particularly durable and reusable modules.

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  • Fraunhofer at the Hannover Messe / 2023

    SWAP-IT: Innovative production architecture for the factory of the future

    Research News / April 03, 2023

    Das Produktionssystem SWAP-IT entscheidet, wie ein Auftrag ausgeführt werden soll und verteilt die Aufgaben an gerade verfügbare Maschinen oder Roboter.
    © Fraunhofer IWU

    Conventional concepts from the manufacturing industry are increasingly being pushed to their limits. This is often due to a combination of current challenges like volatile markets, supply crises and rising energy prices. Researchers at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have developed an innovative production architecture that addresses these challenges. This architecture relies on modular production rather than rigid process chains. Orders are issued in a newly developed produc-tion language and carried out autonomously by machine tools or robots. This way, manufacturers can adapt processes on the factory floor flexibly to suit their targets. The Fraunhofer institutes will be presenting their production ar-chitecture at the Hannover Messe 2023 from April 17 to 21, at the Fraunhofer booth (Hall 16, Booth A12).

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  • Inauguration of the joint Fraunhofer and TU Dresden DesignLab in Dresden / 2023

    Inauguration of the joint Fraunhofer and TU Dresden DesignLab in Dresden

    March 10, 2023

    In its various disciplines and manifestations, design is increasingly gaining importance in Fraunhofer's research. Supporting this trend, the three Fraunhofer Institutes IVI, IWS and IWU in Dresden, together with Technische Universität Dresden, are establishing the “DesignLab for Applied Research” on behalf of the research community. Based in the Saxon state capital, the DesignLab will conduct design research in collaboration with all Fraunhofer institutes across the country, with plans to extend this work to the international level in the future. The DesignLab was officially inaugurated on March 8, 2023.

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  • Swapping recycling for a circular economy / 2023

    A second chance for batteries, gearboxes and cogwheels

    Research News / January 02, 2023

    Used and damaged cars are often disposed of via energy-intensive scrapping processes — even when many of their parts are still fully functional. In the EKODA project, Fraunhofer researchers are developing a better alternative: First, they examine each component in a complex testing procedure. Then they use an evaluation system to generate recommendations for how these components could be reused. This strategy optimizes the lifespan of the individual parts, making it possible to establish a sustainable circular economy in the mobility sector. Used batteries, gear shafts and cogwheels could even show up in other applications outside the automotive industry.

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  • Fraunhofer IWU at automatica, June 21 – June 24, 2022, Hall A4, Booth 411 / 2022

    A robot in every workshop: intuitive programing, maximum safety and error-free quality make it attractive to use robots from batch size 1

    June 15, 2022

    Utilizing robots only pays off in mass production of industrial plants, involves elaborate programing by highly specialized programers, and is inflexible: these assumptions are a thing of the past. At automatica2022, the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU presents a completely different path to robot applications. The scientists’ idea implies that everybody has to be able to program robots in a fast and uncomplicated manner so that it is worth utilizing the robot helper even for a single application not needed for a second time – such as painting a hand-made individual piece. The objective lies in the human being able to focus on what he or she is an expert for (manufacturing the individual piece), and the robot taking over tasks that add less value, are uncomfortable, time-consuming or non-ergonomic (such as painting).

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