Fraunhofer

Services

Being successful in the field of production technology requires the ability to overcome one’s limitations and the willingness to react fast and flexibly in the face of sudden changes.

We support industry in application-oriented system solutions, covering from product development, production processes and maintenance to digital designs.

Manufacturing process and system design, realisation and optimisation

Right at the early phases of product emergence - the research and development phase - we can use our expertise to help you identify new technologies, create concepts and develop prototypes. We place a great deal of importance on getting your equipment, material and processes to perform optimally, giving your products the best chances of competing in the market.

We are seen by our clients as an experienced partner for all issues related to production - and not without good reason. Whether we are determining your status quo, analyzing your production concept, selecting technology, designing a system, or developing, optimizing and implementing processes, you can rely on our motivated team of experts representing different disciplines and many years of expertise. We never look at concepts, technologies and systems in isolation, but see them within the context of your industrial practice.

Whatever you cannot make yourself, you buy in from your suppliers. You need to be able to rely on suppliers to provide top quality goods and services at reasonable prices, so we take a close look at your supply base and the services it provides. We structure the purchasing market for you, help you to choose the right partners and develop individual courses of action using tried-and-tested methods in order to optimize your purchasing costs.

In some situations, it becomes necessary to critically review one’s fundamental management processes, the technology strategy or the strategic and operative management as a whole. We analyze your structures and processes at all phases of research and development, purchasing and production and help you to develop a new, more promising approach without abandoning best practices. We consider it particularly important that your employees stand firmly behind any changes, especially in sensitive areas. 

Industry 4.0 maturity audit

What has come to be known as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is being shaped predominantly by production digitization and networking. Much of this remains a vision – for the time being. However companies with the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive global markets need to consider today the role they wish to play in “Industrie 4.0” tomorrow.

Inter-connectivity and adaptivity in production are forming a strong foundation for Industrie 4.0.

The term adaptivity is synonymous with a new form of flexibility and adaptability of production processes and process chains which are self-adapting and optimizing. In its research and development projects, the Fraunhofer IPT addresses the challenges associated with planning both individual steps and the entire production process, in a virtual environment and in a simulation-assisted process then implements these in the corresponding machines, equipment and software systems.

The starting point is the networking of equipment and software systems, smart control and sensor systems permitting the acquisition and subsequent provision of all technology and process-related information. Either alone or with our cooperation partners, who are usually from the Fraunhofer network and from the RWTH Aachen University, we develop the IT infrastructures such as industrial cloud concepts for smart services, which are required in order to evaluate such large volumes of data and utilize them effectively.

Thus, we transform our customers´ production systems into highly flexible, interconnected and adaptable units – completely in line with the principles of Industrie 4.0.

Digital masters/twins

Fraunhofer Project Center aids companies in developing Digital Masters/Twins in the context of their product development cycles, while always focusing on the usefulness, effectiveness and future potential of the solutions.

MODELLING AND VISUALISATION OF DIGITAL TWINS

Independent of the way in which a product development cycle is organised, the structuring and management of the information content in an accessible, meaningful and (cyber-)secure manner is essential for the effectiveness of such cycles. For the capturing of the product definition, Digital Masters are developed, whereas through-life information of instantiated products can be captured in Digital Twins. In this, accurate coordination of the relevant information and stakeholders (to be) involved is as important as establishing the appropriate structuring approach and employing mechanisms for interactions with instantiated products. Fraunhofer Project Center aids companies in developing Digital Masters/Twins in the context of their product development cycles, while always focusing on the usefulness, effectiveness and future potential of the solutions.

VISUALISATION OF DIGITAL MASTERS/TWINS

Information and data that are collected in product development trajectories or in through-life interactions can only have added value if they are connected to the models that underlie the product in a meaningful manner. Equally important is the way in which the different stakeholders can interact with these models and the information. Whereas the Digital Master/Twin is a purposeful concept for capturing and structuring the information, the real added value of this information can only be made instrumental if all stakeholders are provided with perspective-dependent ways to access the information content and ways to interact with it. This also includes understanding of derived or interpreted information, thus rendering information at different levels of aggregation.
For this access, the interactive visualization of the Digital Master/Twin is a powerful means. FPC@UT offers frameworks and structured methods to build purposeful and tailored visualisations of complex models and their related information. These visualisations can range from simple applications for observations to full-blown environments in 3D or Virtual/Augmented Reality.