Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF
Recent publications
Building on the idea of Industry 4.0, new models of the highly connected factory that leverage factory-generated data to introduce cost-effective automation and involve the human worker for creating higher added value are possible. Within this context, collaborative robots are becoming more common in industry. However, promises regarding flexibility cannot be satisfied due to the challenging process of ensuring human safety. This is because current regulations and standards require updates to the risk assessment for every change to the robotic application, including the parts involved, the robotic components, and the type of interaction within the workspace. This work presents a novel risk analysis software tool that was developed to support change management for adaptive collaborative robotic systems in the connected factory model. The main innovation of this work is the tool’s ability to automatically identify where changes have been made to components or processes within a specific application through its integration with a connected factory architecture. This allows a safety expert to easily see where updates to the risk assessment are required, helping them to maintain conformity with the CE marking process despite frequent changes. To evaluate the benefits of this tool, a user study was performed with an exemplary use-case from the SHOP4CF project. The results show that this newly developed technology for risk assessment has better usability and lower omission errors when compared to existing methods. Therefore, this study underlines the need for tools that can help safety engineers cope with changes in flexible robotics applications and reduce omission errors.
Zusammenfassung Gegenstand der Forschungsarbeiten sind Produktionsmittel, die sich durch eine hohe Flexibilität und Adaptivität auszeichnen. Dabei werden Digitale Soll-Zwillinge von Produkt, Prozess, Sensoren und Produktionsmitteln benutzt, damit Arbeitsaufgaben auf Basis von Simulationen automatisiert geplant und optimiert werden können. Ein breites Anwendungsfeld bietet die Montage hochwertiger Industriegüter. Charakteristisch sind hier die zunehmenden Produktvarianten bis zur Stückzahl eins. Das erfordert eine breite Vielfalt an Methoden und Technologien, die von menschengerecht gestalteten Assistenzsystemen in der manuellen und hybriden Montage bis hin zu vollautomatisierten Systemen reichen.
In times of volatile market demands and international competition, European companies must highly rely on robots, especially collaborative robots, to enable flexible, agile, and resilient manufacturing. However, considering that 99% of the industry is composed of small and medium enterprises, the barriers of robot adoption need to be considered. Therefore, in this research work, we address two of the main barriers for the use of robots: safety and design, by proposing a modular end-effector for collaborative robots. In this work, an iterative design methodology using morphological structures and feedback from a user group to obtain a design solution was applied. Afterwards, the obtained solution comprised of several modules using 3D printing and off-the-shelf components was manufactured. Finally, the end-effector was tested on its picking performances and safety. The result shows that the reconfigurable end-effector can be easily adapted to grasp different parts, is well perceived by users, and meets the safety requirements for collaborative applications.
Alinde Keller und Evelyn Fischer befassen sich in ihrem Beitrag mit der Transformation von Kommunikationsprozessen entlang industrieller Wertschöpfungsketten. Eine solche Transformation wird durch die Digitalisierung sowohl notwendig als auch begünstigt. Sie verstehen die erforderlichen Veränderungen als Intervention in symbolische Ordnungen in und zwischen Organisationen. Ihre Erkenntnisse führen zu Implikationen für eine neue Rolle von Berater*innen in der digitalen Transformation, welche als Technologiemediation mit einer Übersetzungsfunktion zwischen verschiedenen Nutzungspraktiken verstanden werden kann. Im Kern des Beitrags werden das theoretische Konzept der Grenzobjekte nach Susan Leigh Star sowie organisationspädagogische Zugänge für die Theoretisierung und Analyse eines Fallbeispiels fruchtbar gemacht. Dabei wird deutlich: Um die Vernetzung von betrieblichen Funktionseinheiten durch ein neu zu entwickelndes Assistenzsystem in der Praxis wirksam werden zu lassen, sind bereits diverse Übersetzungsprozesse zwischen Nutzergruppen, Entwickler*innen und Forscher*innen im technischen Designprozess erforderlich. Die Autorinnen kommen zu dem Schluss, dass der Design-Ansatz selbst zum Grenzobjekt wird. Dies eröffnet neue Perspektiven für eine Beratungspraxis im Feld der Begleitung digitaler Veränderungsprojekte.
Zusammenfassung Dieser Beitrag der Zeitschrift Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. (GIO) stellt zentrale Ergebnisse zweier empirischer Studien zur Selbstbestimmung von Arbeit bzw. Arbeitszeit – im Sinne eines arbeits(zeit)souveränen Handelns – vor, die im Auftrag der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement e. V. in den Jahren 2015 und 2020 durchgeführt wurden. Hintergrund des Beitrages ist der Umstand, dass die fortlaufende digitale Transformation auch die Wissens- und somit die Projektarbeit zunehmend dynamisiert. Arbeitssouveränes Handeln gewinnt dadurch an Bedeutung und stellt neue Anforderungen an die in den Projekten tätigen Wissensarbeiter:innen. Die in diesem Beitrag dargestellten Studienergebnisse beleuchten wesentliche Inhalte zur aktuellen Ausgestaltung der Arbeits(zeit)souveränität, um auf dieser Basis Handlungsempfehlungen für ein motivierendes Arbeitshandeln zu geben. Die Ergebnisse verdeutlichen, dass arbeitssouveränes Handeln unter Mitarbeiter:innen in wissensintensiven Projekten weit verbreitet ist. Gemessen an potenziellen Charakteristika arbeitssouveräner Tätigkeiten (Selbstbestimmtheit, Hierarchiearmut, Zeit- und Ortsunabhängigkeit) arbeiten viele Mitarbeiter:innen „weitgehend“ oder „vollkommen“ arbeitssouverän. In der Selbsteinschätzung ist es ein noch größerer Teil, der die Arbeitstätigkeit als „arbeitssouverän“ einstuft. Diese Tendenz zeichnete sich bereits in der ersten Studie (2015) ab und wird in der aktuellen Untersuchung (2020) bestätigt. Dabei hat die Pandemie-Situation den Grad der Arbeitssouveränität beeinflusst: Die Mitarbeiter:innen arbeiten aktuell orts- und zeitunabhängiger sowie selbstbestimmter als vor der Pandemie. Strukturelle Veränderungen auf Organisationsseite, wie eine Verringerung oder Verflachung von Hierarchien, sind mit diesen Änderungen nicht verbunden. Auf Ebene der Mitarbeiter:innen wird deutlich, dass soziale Eingebundenheit sowie das Erleben von Kompetenz und Autonomie zentrale Grundbedürfnisse selbstbestimmten Handelns sind, die die Motivation der Mitarbeiter:innen signifikant positiv beeinflussen und in Zusammenhang mit der selbstempfundenen Arbeitssouveränität stehen. Somit bestehen potenzielle Stellschrauben für Organisationen, mit Maßnahmen auf der Strukturebene signifikanten Einfluss auf die Handlungsebene und somit die Motivation der Mitarbeiter:innen zu nehmen. Souveräner Umgang mit der eigenen Arbeit und Arbeitszeit wird als sinnstiftend sowie als Anerkennung und Ausdruck von Vertrauen gewertet. In der Folge wächst die individuelle Verantwortung der Mitarbeiter:innen, was zugleich größere Handlungsspielräume verspricht. Der Strukturwandel wird von Mitarbeiter:innen insgesamt tendenziell als positiv angesehen (2015 & 2020).
Nachwuchsführungskräfte in der Pflege erleben im täglichen Handeln diverse Herausforderungen. Gerade der Nachwuchs in der Sandwichposition agiert häufig auf der Ebene individuell ausgeprägter Intuition und eigener Erfahrungen des Geführt Werdens. Digitale Weiterbildungsszenarien erscheinen, auch im Sinne guter Führung, heute mehr als zuvor als zeitgemäßer und praktikabler Raum für Führungslernen durch digitale Erfahrungen, Reflexion und Feedback. Zu berücksichtigen bleibt, dass die Realisierung dieser digitalen Lösungen in der Weiterbildung von Führungskräften so verlockend wie herausfordernd ist. Supplementary Information: Zusatzmaterial online: Zu diesem Beitrag sind unter 10.1007/s41906-022-1223-y für autorisierte Leser zusätzliche Dateien abrufbar.
This paper is concerned with nonlinear control for positioning of large gantry cranes. An important structural dynamics problem of this type of cranes are flexible structural vibrations in the direction of trolley travel. They lead to faster wear of the crane construction and worsen the performance of the crane operation. Since they are mainly caused by movement of the trolley, they can be taken in consideration by redesign of the trolley motion control system. To design an appropriate control law, a generalized error measure, known as the discrepancy, is applied. Utilizing the associated stability with respect to two discrepancies, a nonlinear stabilizing control for large gantry cranes is obtained. The proposed control has been evaluated on a mathematical model and an experimental laboratory crane.
[I decided no longer (only) to copy the abstracts of the publications. Instead, I am giving some retrospective summary.] We do not have the right to make the full paper freely accessible. Therefore, we are offering a 2 pages excerpt together with the list of references instead. Interested readers may get a full paper from the publisher, by means of a library, or in any other legal way such as asking me. This paper is the proceedings version of our contribution to The Learning Ideas Conference 2021. The proceedings have been published after the end of the conference as volume 349 of Springer LNNS, David Guralnick, Michael E. Auer & Antonella Poce (eds.). Our contribution appears on pp. 3-18. What follows is the original abstract. [Klaus P. Jantke, 19.11.2021] Time travel games are a recent form of edutainment media having high potential in areas such as environmental education and prevention training. Time travel prevention games for purposes such as accident prevention in the industries are advantageous due to their conservation of resources including human health and lives. They are affective by allowing for unprecedented learner/player/trainee experiences, and they are effective due to the fascination of application-oriented game play including opportunities to influence the fate, the latter being less close to reality — but the more attractive and worth telling. Digital storyboarding is the ultimate design methodology allowing for properly dovetailing pedagogical and game design. It works simultaneously bottom-up, top-down, or both at once in interdisciplinary teams flexibly in space and time. Storyboarding is the organization of future learner/player/trainee experiences. The expressive power and the reach of digital storyboarding is due to its roots in dynamic plan generation for the mastery of disturbances in the industries. Storyboards are finite hierarchically structured families of graphs small in size encoding patterns of game design, principles of didactics, and their interference. The technology particularly supports the design of time travel adaptive to the players’ needs and goals aiming at affective experiences and effective learning.
The planetary boundaries of our earth, the increasing economic importance of resource efficiency as well as the responsibility for the livelihoods of future generations require, today more than ever, the development of sustainable production solutions in which the necessary resources are used efficiently instead of being consumed. The energy-intensive industrial sectors, such as the foundry industry, are particularly committed to the set goals of sustainability and resource efficiency. In this context, an innovative technology and plant system for a flexible and automatable melt supply in non-ferrous foundries was developed and presented. This system enables closed-loop process control, which completely eliminates the previously mandatory ladling processes and reveals considerable potential for saving energy costs and CO2 emissions. As a consequent continuation, the presented paper focuses on a closer examination of the central innovative burner technology, which for the first time enables the safe and efficient processing of preheated combustion air with a control quality previously only known from electrical heating solutions. The effects that can be achieved with the new system in terms of energy demand and CO2 emissions, logistical flexibility, reduced production costs and the elimination of the previously required measures for melt cleaning (chemical and mechanical) are presented. Finally, the potentials for further sustainability improvements are discussed.
The concept of digital twin demands fast and efficient methods to distribute, initialize, and execute simulation models that replicate real-world systems and processes. In the field of production and logistics, discrete-event simulation (DES) is the method of choice when it comes to developing digital twins. Cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) give the opportunity to distribute and parallelize the computationally expensive execution of simulation models on high-performance systems. However, there is presently no guidance on the real-time deployment of DES models on cloud infrastructures, making the topic difficult to approach. Against this background, we present an intuitive and practice-oriented procedure model for deploying DES models on AWS. We support our explanations with a demonstration of our procedure model using an end-to-end example of a simple order manufacturing process. Get the repository from GitHub: https://github.com/fladdimir/csa-simulation-based-sc-forecast
The paper introduces an approach to apply reinforcement learning (RL) for production scheduling in a two-stage hybrid flow shop (THFS) production system. The Advantage-Actor Critic (A2C) method is used to train multiple agents to minimize the total tardiness and makespan of a production program. The two-stage hybrid flow shop scheduling problem is a NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem that describes a production system with two stages, each consisting of a set of parallel machines. Our concept combines a Discrete-Event Simulation with a pre-implemented RL algorithm using Stable Baselines3. Since similar research often lacks concrete implementation information, the configuration of the OpenAI Gym interface and the agent-environment interaction is presented.
Prominent market leaders are encouraging subscriptions rather purchases of machines, for instance. In response, a growing number of suppliers of industrial products are considering enhancing their portfolios with subscription offerings, promising value added, such as increased productivity or better predictability. Buyers will consequently have to weigh the benefits against the risks, e.g., of data security or dependence. Current literature examining subscription business models focuses on the suppliers of such offerings. There is, however, need for research that provides guidance to buyers considering, implementing and using subscription offerings for industrial products. We contribute to this subject by exploring enablers and challenges of subscription offerings for industrial products based on 16 semi-structured interviews with experts from several industries. This article provides initial insights into a buyer’s internal transformation in conjunction with subscribing, thus making it valuable to both buyers and suppliers of such models. Furthermore, we add to procurement and subscription literature by examining subscription offerings from the buyer’s point of view.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has shown us the necessity to understand its transmission mechanisms in detail in order to establish practice in controlling such infectious diseases. An important instrument in doing so are mathematical models. However, they do not account for the spatiotemporal heterogeneity introduced by the movement and interaction of individuals with their surroundings. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations can be used to analyze transmission on micro-and mesostructure level, however become infeasible in larger scale scenarios. Agent-based modeling (ABM) on the other hand is missing means to simulate airborne virus transmission on a micro-and mesostructure level. Therefore, we present a system that combines CFD simulations with the dynamics given by trajectories from an ABM to form a basis for producing deeper insights. The proposed system is still work in progress; thus we focus on the system architecture and show preliminary results.
Zusammenfassung Der Beitrag befasst sich mit dem Prozess der Integration von Lern- und Assistenzsystemen (LAS) in Arbeitssysteme in der Produktion. Ziel eines solchen Prozesses ist es, die Potenziale eines akzeptierten, lernförderlichen und wirtschaftlichen Nutzen generierenden LAS für spezifische Anforderungen in Unternehmen zu erschließen. Dies erfordert ein partizipatives Vorgehen sowie die Integration ganzheitlicher Wissensbestände. Der Beitrag erschließt daher aus organisationspädagogischer Sicht Reflexions‑, Übersetzungs‑, Aushandlungs- und Visionierungsprozesse als Praktiken der Wissensproduktion im partizipativen Vorgehen. Im Rahmen eines organisationspädagogischen Design Based Research Ansatzes wird dabei eine Systematik vorgeschlagen, welche sowohl theoriebasiert als auch auf Basis praktischer Erfahrungen bei der Integration eines LAS in Instandhaltungstätigkeiten entwickelt wurde. Ziel dieser Systematik ist es, diejenigen Akteure in der Praxis zu unterstützen, die den Prozess der Entstehung einer LAS-basierten (Lern‑)Innovation in Unternehmen kontextsensibel ausgestalten. Praktische Relevanz: Der Beitrag richtet sich an Akteure, welche einen partizipativen Prozess zur Integration von Lern- und Assistenzsystemen in den betrieblichen Alltag gestalten und koordinieren. Es wird eine Systematik entwickelt, welche ihnen eine Handlungshilfe anbietet und sie durch diesen Prozess begleitet.
Companies intending to introduce frugal products into emerging markets need to consider economic, technical, and socio-cultural constraints. Customizations of their products to local demands require adjusting the respective production system. Thus, companies have to decide about the technical and economic feasibility regarding the production of frugal products. As decision support, we propose the novel combination of Product-Process-Resource-Skill & Variability (PPRSV) models with knowledge on typical constraints. Because PPRSV models incorporate the process-resource-skill combinations of all drafted variants of a product, they foster a decision about introducing particular frugal products in targeted markets and an estimation of the required effort.
Biofortification, the enrichment of nutrients in crop plants, is of increasing importance to improve human health. The wild barley nested association mapping (NAM) population HEB-25 was developed to improve agronomic traits including nutrient concentration. Here, we evaluated the potential of high-throughput hyperspectral imaging in HEB-25 to predict leaf concentration of 15 mineral nutrients, sampled from two field experiments and four developmental stages. Particularly accurate predictions were obtained by partial least squares regression (PLS) modeling of leaf concentrations for N, P and K reaching coefficients of determination of 0.90, 0.75 and 0.89, respectively. We recognized nutrient-specific patterns of variation of leaf nutrient concentration between developmental stages. A number of quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with the simultaneous expression of leaf nutrients were detected, indicating their potential co-regulation in barley. For example, the wild barley allele of QTL-4H-1 simultaneously increased leaf concentration of N, P, K and Cu. Similar effects of the same QTL were previously reported for nutrient concentrations in grains, supporting a potential parallel regulation of N, P, K and Cu in leaves and grains of HEB-25. Our study provides a new approach for nutrient assessment in large-scale field experiments to ultimately select genes and genotypes supporting plant biofortification.
This study proposes a methodology for sizing and operating new flexibility options within a German carpentry, targeting to be operated as Net Zero Energy Factory (NZEF). A key element of this system is the maximization of the integration of the electric power locally generated by a photovoltaic plant and the electric demand for driving the manufacturing processes. This aim is achieved with a proper integration between design choices in terms flexibility options and optimal control of energy fluxes. In this work, benefits and criticalities arising from the integration of different flexibility options, such as stationary and mobile Energy Storage Systems, are identified and analyzed. A double step optimization process is implemented. First, a Model Predictive Control strategy is used to schedule the manufacturing machines and the energy storage systems (stationary and mobile). Then, a multi-objective optimization aiming at the minimization of annual energy grid exchange and the optimal exploitation of battery capacity is carried out with the Genetic Algorithm. Such a methodology allows the factory operators to optimally size the flexibility capacity (the battery energy storage in this application) needed to operate their industrial facility as a net-zero energy factory. Results show that an optimally controlled stationary energy storage system allows a reduction of energy exchange with the grid up to 53%. The further introduction of electric vehicles increases of about 5% and 67% the renewable energy self-consumption and carbon emissions savings, respectively, ensuring also a significant increase in the yearly annual savings (up to 406%).
Primarily released by the conversion of primary fossil energy sources, anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions influence global warming fundamentally. Since they enable increasing the share of sustainable energy sources in the energy supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through targeted integration, power-to-X technologies promise to be an important element of compliance with impending regulations and laws. VDI 4663 guideline for strategically optimizing (technical) processes applies the physical optimum , a promising performance indicator for a unified, time-independent, and structured evaluation of power-to-X technologies that defines an operation under physically optimal conditions as a limit value. This study applies VDI 4663 to a power-to-X system and evaluates different components. It specifically examines current power-to-gas applications, the physical optimum as a limit-oriented indicator and its application to complex processes, the physically optimal operation of electrolysis and methanation, heat transfer as a critical component of methanation, the evaluation of a heat exchanger based on the physical optimum , and targeted process optimization based on VDI 4663. The outcome is an energy index for the evaluation of a heat exchanger, factoring in its structural design. The physical optimum of electrolysis and methanation developed here can also be employed as the basis for targeted optimization. This study serves as a basis for the evaluation of other power-to-X systems and introduces the application of VDI 4663. Additionally, the applicability of the physical optimum to chemistry-based processes is validated.
Within the context of Industry 4.0, firms increasingly focus on their core competences and use digital technologies for integrating value‐added partners. This process brings about the challenge of choosing a suitable way of integration for each supplier. Although digital supplier integration promises crucial benefits, it is currently not realized in most companies. It lacks a practical guideline that supports firms to integrate suppliers within the best balance between, costs, capabilities, and benefits depending on their supplier strategy. We close this gap by proposing the new concept of Transaction 4.0 capabilities for measuring the degree of implementation of Industry 4.0 regarding the exchange of products and information between a buyer and a supplier. Within a multiple case study, we provide an in‐depth analysis of Transaction 4.0 capabilities and supply chain performance impact in four different buyer‐supplier relationships and provide insights into different Industry 4.0 approaches at the buyer‐supplier interface. The principal‐agent theory offers an explanation why the chosen Transaction 4.0 approaches are typical of the respective buyer‐supplier relationships. As procurement managers might identify comparable sourcing situations within their supplier portfolio, this article provides practical suggestions for digitization measures at the buyer‐supplier interface.
Production planning relies on accurate predictions of logistics performance indicators for production orders. Unforeseen interdependencies operational among production orders, such as unplanned prioritisation, may lead to compounding delay effects, which may negatively affect logistics performance. In this contribution, we present a general framework as well as new interdisciplinary methods for understanding production order interdependencies. We deliver first evidence of such effects in real manufacturing systems, which may lead to performance improvements when predicting logistics performance. Based on the results of this contribution, first insights into the drivers of such effects are derived.
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114 members
Pio Alessandro Lombardi
  • Business Unit Process and Plant Engineering
Simon Adler
  • Business Unit Virtual Engineering
Andreas Herzog
  • Business Unit Biosystems Engineering
K. Richter
  • Business Unit Reliable Processes in Standardized Logistics Zones
Tina Haase
  • Business Unit of Measurement and Testing Technology / Learning and experience transfer
Information
Address
Postfach 14 53, 39004 Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany
Head of institution
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Prof. E. h. Dr. h. c. mult. Michael Schenk
Website
http://www.iff.fraunhofer.de/
Phone
+49 391 4090-0
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+49 391 4090-596