Fraunhofer IAO tests Industry 4.0 solutions

July 4, 2018 | 10:55
An environment to trial Industry 4.0 solutions.
An environment to trial Industry 4.0 solutions.
The future of industrial processes and methods will undoubtedly be defined by ‘Industry 4.0’ concepts. This deals with the intelligent networking of machines, systems, products, warehouses and tools, all of which will have the capacity to communicate with each other and with machine operators and staff via mobile smart devices. Work at the Fraunhofer IAO focuses on the practical implementation of this future production environment to optimize system integration and identify the role of personnel in Industry 4.0.

With its innovative network ‘Production Work 4.0’, the institute has created a platform for a practical exchange between industry, technology suppliers and associations. The model factory of Fraunhofer IAO has been selected as one of the 100 locations for Industry 4.0 in Baden-Württemberg. This prototype manufacturing facility at the Fraunhofer IAO implements applications for Industry 4.0 and tests them for their practical suitability.

The main research areas at a glance:
• The impacts, challenges and opportunities of ‘Industry 4.0’ for companies and their workforce.
• Business models and tailor-made ‘Industry 4.0’ solutions to support original product design all the way through to product manufacture.
• Innovative networks such as: ‘Production work 4.0’ and ‘HMI 4.0’.
• Ongoing educational curricula to reinforce employee competence and training.
• The development of new technologies and concepts to support man-machine interactions in networked production.
• Design and development of Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI).

In the model factory built at the Fraunhofer IAO, experience is gained by testing a wide range of different production methods to make small and medium product runs. In addition to the frequently used ‘One-piece-flow system’, the model factory also demonstrates solutions using manual assembly in star form and the rarely used ‘One-set-flow system’. This gives an indication how each method can be best applied to produce a wide range of different products.

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