Fraunhofer IPK

Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology

Digitally integrated ­technologies

The great promise of digitalization will only come true, if systems from very different disciplines and domains, from software and hardware development to wireless and networking technologies, come together as holistic and integrated solutions. The Berlin Center for Digital Transformation presents modular and scalable solutions that show that the Internet of Things and Industrie 4.0 are commercially viable concepts for companies of all sizes – from young start-ups to SMEs and large corporations. In our exhibit, the different technologies and contributions of all partners work together, reliably and dependably.

Gesture-based robot programming

The trade fair demonstrator uses highly automated program generation. This enables fast parameterization of the robot path. The older robot model used is integrated into the modern production environment using a PLC and a software interface developed for this purpose. This allows the integration of modern image processing systems developed in high-level languages and thus provides the basis for the gesture-based programming environment presented.

Digital production and maintenance assistance

Both too little and too much information can stand in the way of efficient processes in production and servicing. Assistant systems that support their users interactively and in response to the given context can avoid this problem: They offer relief for non-value-adding activities and navigate the user efficiently through the process. At Hannover, a mobile assistant guides the expo’s visitors through the showcase, using information from the other systems involved.

Virtual factory twin

By adding VR components to the digital twins of factories, another crucial factor in the system can be integrated more immediately: people. By representing the factory twin in a VR environment, the plant designer can visit, experience, and interact with his work in the virtual realm. This makes it easier to account for the human factor, e.g. for questions of machine fitting or safety inspections, and to visually analyze the behavior of the plant and the goods processed within it.

Augmented reality and object recognition

We are using augment reality (AR) technology in combination with interactive and object recognition solutions. The system in the exhibit recognizes the exact position of a workpiece; the AR projection adds virtual information to the workpiece and the workbench, and the user can select where the robot should process the workpiece by simply pointing to the object.

A perfect-fit »Modular Sensor Kit«

For the quick and simple testing of hardware prototypes, the center can provide a modular sensor kit. Equipped to match the specific use case, fully functional modules are combined to form autonomous sensors at low cost and in record time. The modular system can include highly specialized sensors, such as radar sensors. The necessary module settings are configured and the system launched for use via an intuitive user interface.

Time-sensitive networks and edge computing

Time-sensitive networking (TSN), an open standard for deterministic real-time networks, has arrived in the industrial sphere and removes the need to reconcile multiple proprietary fieldbus systems. The exhibit shows how TSN allows a direct connection of the production environment with cloud and edge platforms (for integration with MES and ERP systems) – with low latency and a uniform network.