Manufacturing automation

Manufacturing automation is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.

  • 15-meter Roll-to-roll Device is World’s Longest OLED

    This 15-meter roll-to-roll device is the world’s longest OLED. © Lyteus

    Working within the framework of Lyteus, Holst Centre and Fraunhofer FEP step into the spotlight with the creation of the world’s longest single-device OLED. At a stunning 15 meters in length it opens the door to ‘endless OLEDs’ that manufacturers and designers can then easily tailor to their own needs. Lyteus brings together leaders in OLED technology from across Europe to create a pilot production line and product development services for OLED products. Working together, Holst Centre and Fraunhofer FEP successfully demonstrated the possibility for continuous production of OLEDs of any length. This both reduces the cost of production and enables “cut-to-fit” lighting for applications such as transportation, architecture and interior design.

  • Battery production goes Industrie 4.0

    Thanks to the early warning and emergency management system, impurities in the water supply can be quickly tracked down. Fraunhofer IPA

    A battery that can be charged in seconds, has a large capacity and lasts ten to twelve years? Certainly, many have wanted such a thing. Now the FastStorageBW II project – which includes Fraunhofer – is working on making it a reality. Fraunhofer researchers are using pre-production to optimize large-scale production and ensure it follows the principles of Industrie 4.0 from the outset.

    Imagine you’ve had a hectic day and then, to cap it all, you find that the battery of your electric vehicle is virtually empty. This means you’ll have to take a long break while it charges fully. It’s a completely different story with capacitors, which charge in seconds. However, they have a different drawback: they store very little energy.

  • DFKI and Hitachi jointly develop AI technology for human activity recognition of workers

    Workflow of human activity recognition. Hitachi

    ...using wearable devices. With view to utilizing AI to assist operations and prevent human error in manufacturing. Germany and Japan, March 8, 2017 - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, “DFKI“) and Hitachi, Ltd. (Hitachi) today announced the joint development of AI (artificial intelligence) technology for human activity recongnition of workers using wearable devices. The AI technology performs real-time recognition of workers’ activities by integrating technology in eye-tracking glasses (1) to recognize gazed objects with technology in armband devices to recognize action. The recognition ability of each activity is achieved by having the AI understand the tools or parts used at the production site as well as anticipated actions through Deep Learning (2). DFKI and Hitachi will use this newly developed AI technology to assist operations and prevent human error, to contribute to enhancing quality and efficiency on the front line of manufacturing.

  • Five developments for improved data exploitation

    Seamless communication from sensor to Internet is a prerequisite for industry 4.0.

    Integrating advanced IT/OT elements throughout the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant – from the IO module and MQTT to the dashboard. The advanced development of IT/OT* elements makes it easier to access the data of the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant. Now data can be displayed, integrated, transported, and recorded much more easily. Highlights include an IO module, operational data publication via MQTT, two dashboards, and a web-based product configurator. The Technologie-Initiative SmartFactoryKL and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) will present these developments in cooperation with 18 contributing partner companies at the Hannover Messe on April 24-28, 2017 in Hall 8, Stand D 20.

  • Floating Rotors Report for Duty

    Active magnetic bearings (AMB) use electromagnets to magnetically levitate a rotor.

    Siemens has developed Simotics AMB, a new magnetic bearing system for high-power machines with large rotor diameters. The new technology is based on proven standard electronic components. It optimizes the design, maintenance, and operation of machines that rely on huge rotors and integrates data from their bearings into an installation’s IT environment. Without any physical contact, the controlled magnetic fields of a new magnetic bearing system from Siemens keep 10-ton rotors in the middle of their bearings. What’s more, the rotors do not deviate by more than a hair’s breadth from the center even when spinning at maximum speed. Based on active magnetic bearing (AMB) technology, Siemens’ new Simotics AMB system uses tried and tested standard electronic components that are normally used to control electric motors in machine tool applications.

  • Fraunhofer HHI presents interaction components for contactless human-machine operation

    Fraunhofer HHI presents interaction components for contactless human-machine operation at the Hannover Messe trade fair. ©, edit: Fraunhofer HHI

    The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI is presenting its gesture control expertise at this year’s Hannover Messe trade fair. At the Fraunhofer booth C22 in hall 2, the institute is presenting the EASY COHMO project (ergonomics assistance systems for contactless human-machine operation) aimed at overcoming the problems of human-robot interaction and cooperation. Developing interaction components for contactless, gesture-based human-machine operation is the project objective.

  • Hanover Trade Fair 2017: Fraunhofer IOSB presents Industry 4.0

    M²-Assist © Fraunhofer IOSB

    The Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation from Karlsruhe will be present at the Hanover Trade Fair 2017 from April 24 to 28 in Hanover. This year the Fraunhofer Booth is all about »Industry 4.0«. In Hall 2 Booth C16 and C22 the IOSB will be showing interactive exhibits - research on touching and testing.

    As the largest institute within the Fraunhofer Group for Information and Communication, the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technology and Image Exploitation IOSB has been very successful in implementing the latest research results in ready-to-use solutions. These solutions offer our customers direct cash-equivalent benefits and improve their long-term competitiveness. The IOSB researches and develops innovative concepts, methods and systems for industry, medium-sized business and clients from the public sector.

  • ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

    Digitally created and saved in the cloud - how the digital twin accompanies the component throughout its entire life cycle will be a central topic at the ICTM Conference. © Photo Fraunhofer IPT

    “Digital production” is increasingly turning into an integral part of successful turbomachinery manufacturing: How digitalization approaches can enhance efficient manufacturing and lifetime of modern turbomachinery components will be the central aspect of the fourth “ICTM Conference” on February 15 and 16, 2017, in Aachen. Online registration for the conference is open now, with an early bird price until December 16, 2016. The event, which is organized by the Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technolgy IPT and Laser Technology ILT, provides attendants of the turbomachinery industry with current information and the opportunity to discuss new developments around the major topics “Advanced Machining”, “Digitalization”, “Industrie 4.0” and “Additive Manufacturing”.

  • Innovative safety concept adds flexibility to modular production

    The Industrie 4.0 demo production plant of the SmartFactoryKL consortium uses a dynamic safety concept. The result: The ability to parameterize individual production cells in emergency stops. SmartFactoryKL/C.Arnoldi

    • Industrie 4.0 demo plant of SmartFactoryKL consortium expanded with an industrial Ethernet-based communications protocol.

    • Modular certification reduces the cost of system modification.

    • At the Hannover Messe from April 24 to 28, 2017: Hall 8, Booth D 20.

  • Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

    On the way to series production: 3D CFRP processing. Photo: LZH

    More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

  • New Process Technology Unlocks Boost in Laser Productivity

    Robust constructed optical parametric oscillator. This module will generate the final measuring wavelength in the MERLIN laser beam source. Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany/ V. Lannert.

    »The laser is a solution seeking a problem,« said Ted Maiman in 1964. Today, the laser has proven the best solution to an array of problems. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2017 in Munich/Germany, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how it is using process technology to enable efficient laser applications in a range of sectors, thereby driving forward Digital Photonic Production in the 21st century. Over the past decades, new beam sources have taken the laser community by storm, with disk, fiber and diode lasers all making the transition into industrial manufacturing – and now ultrafast lasers, too. »With the most powerful lasers, it’s a case of working out how to bring that power to bear,« says Dr. Arnold Gillner of the Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen. »Right now, we need a thorough understanding of the processes at work and the right process technology if we are to open up new fields of application for the laser.«

  • New security procedures secure the intelligent factory

    At the Hannover Messe 2017, the Fraunhofer SIT demonstrates two procedures that use new approaches in the protection of industrial facilities.

    At the Hannover Messe from April 24 to 28, 2017, Fraunhofer researchers will present two new procedures for the protection of Industrie 4.0 production facilities (Hall 2, Booth C16/C22): here, a self-learning system recognizes security incidents in manufacturing facilities without knowledge of the underlying system architecture. Hardware-based security modules report manipulation tests on machines and components.

    Manufacturing processes in the context of Industrie 4.0 are highly automated: the realization of the customer’s request is triggered as an assignment by the merchandise management system, the components required for the product are provided by the supply chain and the construction plans as well as the exact production procedure are retrieved from the supplier. Manufacturing occurs worldwide in order to be able to deliver as quickly as possible and without long distances.

  • No more precautionary oil changes: Sensor warns when oil in CHP plants is no longer up to the job

    Prof. Andreas Schütze (left) and Dipl.-Ing. Eliseo Pignanelli are showcasing a measuring system at Hannover Messe that continuously monitors oil quality and predicts when an oil change is required. Photo credit: Oliver Dietze

    Hannover Messe: Thanks to a new sensor system developed collaboratively by Professor Andreas Schütze and his research team at Saarland University and a group of industrial project partners, unnecessary oil changes could well be a thing of the past. The new system can provide operators of combined heat and power plants with reliable continuous feedback on the current state of the oil. And the system can also warn the operator if the condition of the oil suddenly deteriorates. The oil flows through a small measuring cell where it is analysed spectroscopically to record the condition of the oil.

  • Offene Werkstatt für digitale Fabrikation wird eröffnet

    Rapid Prototyping: Zahlreiche 3D-Drucker bis zu 1 m3 Arbeitsraum stehen im OpenLab zur Verfügung. Ulrike Schröder

    Am 14. Dezember 2016 wird um 11:00 Uhr auf dem Campus der Helmut-Schmidt-Universität das OpenLab Hamburg eröffnet. Es ist eine offene High-Tech-Werkstatt, die der breiten Öffentlichkeit den Zugang zu modernen, digitalen Fabrikationstechnologien ermöglicht, um dort eigene Ideen zu verwirklichen. Das OpenLab gehört der Bewegung der FabLabs (Fabrication Laboratories) an, einem globalen Netzwerk aus offenen Werkstätten. Das OpenLab Hamburg richtet sich an alle Studenten, Schüler und Privatpersonen sowie an Firmen und andere Institutionen, die handwerklich, gestalterisch und technisch interessiert sind. Das Lab kann sowohl für die Entwicklung von Prototypen für StartUps, als auch für Forschungs- und Studienarbeiten oder zum Basteln und Tüfteln in der Freizeit genutzt werden.

  • Process Chain for Industrialized Rotor Blade Production Set in Motion

    Automized pick-and-place process for stacked cuttings, large textile & sandwich preforms. Harry Zier

    Following commissioning of the production portal last spring, Fraunhofer IWES has now reached the next milestone in the BladeMaker joint research project: the integration of the process steps as the basis for a prototypical end-to-end process is now under way. The first step is production of the first shear web with direct infusion, followed by shear web manufacturing with PUR foam core elements, the production of the first half of the form tool, and the testing of a new gripper principle for the handling of cuttings. By completion of the project at the end of this year, all of the optimized processes will be merged and adapted to the production sequence.

  • Roboter on demand: Mobiles Bearbeiten von Flugzeugteilen mit höchster Präzision

    Mobiler CNC-Roboter für die Bearbeitung von CFK-Großstrukturen. © Fraunhofer IFAM

    Im Rahmen von Industrie 4.0 hat die Luftfahrtbranche eine Automatisierungsoffensive gestartet. Weg von der individuell zugeschnittenen Sondermaschine für einen speziellen Prozess, hin zu universell einsetzbaren, mobilen Robotern. In dem Projekt »Prozesssichere hochproduktive Präzisionszerspanung von CFK-Großstrukturen (ProsihP II) « entwickelten deshalb Experten unterschiedlichster Disziplinen die mobile und hochpräzise Bearbeitung von CFK-Großbauteilen durch parallel arbeitende Roboter.

  • ROSIN project: towards an EU Digital Industrial Platform for Robotics through Open-Source Software

    Several training sessions within Europe will be held to make ROS-Industrial more accessible and well-known. Fraunhofer IPA

    Open-Source Software for robots is a de-facto practice in academia and its advantages can also benefit industrial applications. The worldwide ROS-Industrial initiative has been using ROS, the Robot Operating System, to this end. To consolidate Europe’s dominance in advanced manufacturing, ROSIN with Fraunhofer IPA as one of the partners will push the role of the EU within ROSIndustrial to a leading position. It will achieve this through three main actions: ensuring industrial-grade software quality, promoting new business-relevant applications by providing 50% of the project’s budget for European users and developers, supporting educational activities for students and industry professionals.

  • Startschuss für APOLI: mehr Sicherheit in der Industrie 4.0

    Industry 4.0 and its different aspects.

    Das Projekt APOLI (Aufgabenbezogene Polymorphe Identifikation) geht an den Start. Ziel ist es, für mehr Sicherheit in den Geschäftsprozessen zu sorgen, insbesondere vor dem Hintergrund von Industrie 4.0. Im Mittelpunkt dabei steht die zweifelsfreie und gleichzeitig anwenderfreundliche Authentifizierung und Autorisierung von Personen und Objekten, die an IT-gestützten, vernetzten Geschäftsabläufen beteiligt sind. Die Projektleitung liegt beim Fraunhofer ESK. Die Sicherheit digitaler Geschäftsprozesse beruht darauf, dass die Identität einer Person oder einer Maschine, Industrieanlage oder Software-Komponente erkannt und überprüft wird. Daraus wiederum ergibt sich eine Autorisierung, also eine Zugangsberechtigung zu einer Serviceplattform oder einer weiteren Komponente. Nur so ist sichergestellt, dass zum Beispiel bei der Fernwartung der Zugriff auf die richtige Maschine oder Komponente erfolgt und dass Missbrauch ausgeschlossen ist.

  • Successfully transferring Industrie 4.0 into reality

    The future of production: integrating the human through scalable  automation, control and communication through cyber-physical systems  as well as standardized interfaces. SmartFactoryKL

    "With their joint booth at SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg (Germany), Europe's leading expert trade fair for electric automation, the Technology Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V. and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) will present a spectrum of their competences in the domain of Industrie 4.0 (hall 10, stand 540) from November 22 to 24, 2016. The exhibited demonstrators will show how the transfer of the Industrie 4.0 paradgim into industrial applications can succeed."

    • SmartFactoryKL and DFKI will exhibit at SPS IPC Drives
    • Agile factory systems and human-machine-interaction are main topics

  • What Really Happens on the Assembly Line? High-precision Localization Promises More Transparency!

    Mobile transponders to localize tools in industrial settings. © Volker Mai

    A miniature transponder helps localize tools at manual assembly stations. Fraunhofer IZM has developed a specialized transponder in the joint NaLoSysPro project to track and record safety-critical assembly tasks in industry with precise location data. The project was completed in 2018, and the innovative transponder is showcasing the capabilities of Fraunhofer IZM’s Wafer Level System Integration team to the manufacturing community.