Pilot lines

Under the umbrella of the ICNAP, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology IPT, Laser Technology ILT and Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME are cooperating with the RWTH Aachen University and renowned industrial partners to develop Industrie 4.0 production systems and value chains before validating them in actual production environments, the so-called pilot lines.

Pilot lines using the digital twin

Mass production of turbomachinery components

More efficient process chains and the provision of evidence for the compliance with certification requirements: these are the objectives of real time production data generation in the mass production of turbine components. The data are gathered through the use of standardized interfaces and are available for simulations and documentation purposes along the entire process chain.

Production and repair of gas turbine blades

Experiences with the application of virtual planning tools such as process simulation and process chain reconfiguration for additive and subtractive manufacturing or repair processes including milling and laser metal deposition (LMD) are analyzed to establish their potential use in the production and repair of gas turbine blades. By providing detailed logs of real data from the processes under review, it is possible to recognize patterns which reveal where adjustments along the process chain may be beneficial. Optimized planning tools benefit from data consistency and ensure high levels of transparency in the planning process.

Pilot lines using predictive analytics

Predictive process chain design in tool manufacturing

The key element in the tool manufacturing process is the production of a prototype which requires the successful implementation of the “First Part Right” principle. On the basis of different process chain models, engineers provide estimates for the duration of the individual processes, the component quality and the manufacturing costs. By adapting process chain plans to different manufacturing conditions, it is possible to predict the results of the production process under review with significantly higher levels or precision.

Flexible design and production of battery modules

The adaptive production of battery modules accounts for given restrictions such as spatial conditions, weight and properties including energy and power. Different types of cells are used in the production of small to medium-sized series of modules. Laser beam welding and laser bonding are applied in the manufacturing of connecting elements. Process information and data are immediately integrated into the design process. An integrated technology and configuration application supports the – fully digitalized – process of designing systems and manufacturing processes.

Pilot line using big data analytics in complex production environments

Upstream production and downstream processing: from the sowing of seeds to the biopharmaceutical product

The so-called upstream production process, i.e. the process chain “sowing of seeds – growth – harvest”, benefits from Big Data Analytics, which allow the continuous optimization of plant growth and expression levels of the desired substances as well as the increased generation of recombinant protein. The later so-called downstream processing – the process chain “extraction – cleaning – biopharmaceutical product” – not only uses the process parameters from the upstream production but also additional parameters (such as turbidity, pH and conductivity) to improve the process models with the objective of achieving higher yields, higher quality levels of the biopharmaceutical product and more reliable monitoring techniques.