Resulting from advanced technological developments, manufacturing processes and production systems are characterized by increasing complexity. At the same time, more and more modern components of information and communication technology are integrated into production technology, which implies that a great amount of various data is already collected today in direct or indirect relation to production.
How can this data be processed and made available as specific information to support complex production scenarios?
Fraunhofer IWU develops and implements concepts for industry-oriented solutions which allow for staff in complex production environments to be more involved in decision-making processes by providing them with the correct information that serves as context-related “knowledge” and as a basis for decisions. These solutions focus on added value in new business models. Modern approaches of Industry 4.0 are implemented to create smart factories in order to tackle the continuously increasing challenges in production. Suitable data and derived information are determined and provided in order to implement essential approaches such as decentralized production control based on local decisions of intelligent or even autonomous components of production technology.
Identification and tracking of components
Individual or batch identification of components and containers is significant for applications in logistics in order to track quality data, but also to realize intelligent flexible variants of machines and plants. For this reason we offer the development of integrated system concepts for tracking materials in production. We choose the ideal technology for automated identification by using our expertise in information technology and mechanical engineering. These identification methods include radio technologies such as connectivity with RFID and Bluetooth, or optical labels, for example barcodes or identification by QR code. In addition we conduct investigations for specific customers’ sites to establish how to implement continuous labeling of parts, detection and evaluation of dynamic data.
When implementing smart factories, modern software solutions play a significant role in planning, controlling and optimizing production plants. In this context we always consider the entire life cycle of software systems, starting with problem analysis, drafting the software architecture followed by the actual software development, up to installations and maintenance. During this complete cycle we collaborate closely with our customers. Our activities regarding Industry 4.0 in particular focus on merging matching databases, software libraries and application frameworks. Thus we create innovative solutions for process planning, intelligent control of production systems and for acquiring and evaluating production data.
Management of data and information
Currently numerous components of production and production infrastructure already provide various data regarding operation, tracking or resource consumption. Sophisticated information processing is enabled by intelligently linking these data to other IT systems relevant for production. This linkage exceeds pure monitoring and forms the basis for active control of factories. The resulting transparency can be consistently used for increasing efficiency of production processes and resource exploitation.