Fraunhofer IPK

Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology

Information and Process Control

Management of product data and processes in digital product creation requires both clear structures and continual coordination. We ensure that all relevant data associated with your product is captured, transparently processed and continually monitored so that you can be certain that your development processes will run smoothly without troublesome hitches and glitches.

An engineer sketches details of a new product on a drawing board. He keeps on checking with his colleagues, drawing up one version after the other. In the end everybody heaves a sigh of satisfaction. Then a good deal of money goes into building a functional model. Only this shows that the product doesn’t function as planned. So it’s back to the drawing board.

Thanks to modern information technology scenarios like this are a thing of the past. An economic system in which quality and speed in product creation are critical for all-important market success relies on digital development. The success of the development process largely depends on what kind of digital process management the company uses.

Because increased focus on customer needs – or delivering the right product for the right customer – means steadily broadening the range of products. Whoever can respond flexibly to customer preferences stays ahead on the global playing field. In product creation speed and quality are of the essence.

A trend to pure virtual modeling has set in as present information systems become steadily more advanced and more highly differentiated. Developers increasingly cooperate on an interdisciplinary basis, from a variety of different geographic locations and even across company boundaries. All this is not without impact on the diversity of data and its forms of presentation. Dealing with new problems thrown up by the huge flood of data is something companies now have to do on a daily basis. Our Information and Process Control department builds the solutions to meet such problems – and what’s more builds them on the systems you already have up and running.

Data Management – across the whole product lifecycle

Product data management (PDM) collects all the information about a product, correlates it and images it, thus producing an overall picture that serves as the basis for all other product-associated management processes. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) or the strategy of digital oversight of a product across its entire development and lifecycle through to its sign-off is built on the foundations of PDM. To keep pace with the increasing quantity and diversity of data, we collaborate with our industrial customers to develop solutions for innovative PDM/PLM technologies.

Collaborative Engineering – where everyone knows just what they are doing

Two heads are better than one – but only when they communicate properly with one another. Collaborative Engineering is a discipline which ensures that developer teams from various company departments can work simultaneously on various aspects of a single product and even collaborate with partners extraneous to the company in an overall situation where everyone is always in touch with the latest developments. Collaboration management means the transparent administration of information – as transparent as the particular collaborative situation allows for without, for instance, divulging company secrets. This is an area in which we are truly expert.

Process Optimization – always room for improvement

Core processes, management processes and support processes all guarantee the manufacturer fast product creation and high product quality. But product creation is never a process with final closure – product details need to be changed, computer performance needs enhancing or new suppliers have to be brought in. All such changes mean that existing processes have to be correspondingly modified so they can continue to operate smoothly. We use methods of process modeling and management to analyze and optimize operational processes. And where standard methods do not kick in, we develop new ones.