Fraunhofer IPK

Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology

Automation Technology

Fraunhofer IPK's Automation Technology division is cooperating with the Industrial Automation Technology department of the Technische Universität Berlin to develop new technologies and systems that combine innovative robotics, control and security concepts with machine vision methods. The aim of this work is to use the integration and combination of these key automation components to allow our customers to benefit from more efficient processes. As an example, new force control procedures have been developed that enable industrial robots to carry out machining processes – a more versatile and cost-effective solution than conventional machine structures. We are also using innovative methods and automation concepts from the world of production engineering to pave the way for new applications and business divisions in the fields of security technology and medicine. Well-known examples include our process for automated virtual document reconstruction and our robot systems for stroke rehabilitation.

Our expertise is embodied by two specialist departments and two work groups. The R&D work performed in our Process Automation and Robotics department is aimed at an efficient use of resources. Flexible cooperation ­between human and robot increases the resource efficiency of both man and automation system in variable production processes. To increase energy ­efficiency, we are developing procedures for intelligently acquiring information from energy-related production data (energy mining) as well as data on energy efficiency controlling.

The Machine Vision department draws on many years of image processing and pattern recognition expertise to open the door to new applications, in particular for mobile sensor systems and automated reconstruction of objects. Our customers also benefit from our experience in the field of automatic optical quality control, which has been strengthened by the addition of new robot-aided testing procedures for mechanical production properties.

A specialist exploration field has drawn increased attention to optical inspection using networked line scan cameras. Finally, our portfolio is rounded off by a work group that is responsible for the further development of exercise devices for stationary and remote medical rehabilitation (telerehabilitation).