Fraunhofer IPK

Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology

Smooth processes with mixed technologies

IPK-Exhibit at the Fraunhofer Group for Production booth

Very few networked production sites are ever made with components from a single source. One provider’s machining unit might be working next to a production cell from another maker, and controllers by even other providers have to be integrated. Our exhibit at the Group for Production booth shows how to integrate such heterogeneous sites into holistic systems that operate reliably with little effort. This is particularly appealing for upgrading existing production facilities.

The demonstrator picks up where last year’s exhibit of plastic component manufacturing left off – but the visitors of the 2018 exhibit can trigger production with custom parameters and release and take home the finished product. In the exhibit, a processing unit and a handling system work together to show how production technologies of different makes and different standards can be flexibly interconnected.

Coming together to work together

Our services-based connection concept understands all sub-processes as distinct entities that can be mixed and matched to form new sequences and enable order-specific custom processes. Existing machines – even older technologies – can be included by means of a library of virtual adapters, acting as soft PLCs upstream in the system to avoid the need for accessing the physical controllers themselves. The connections can be established via the cloud.

Newly set-up or expanded production processes can be validated with a dedicated digital twin. Original data is used to simulate workflows and ascertain their viability. In active production, an information management monitor initiates and keeps track of the required process steps.

Experience this exhibit in hall 17, booth C24.