Fields of research

  Puzzle pieces are combined Copyright: © Martin Riedel  

The 4th Industrial Revolution describes a trend of increasing automation of processes and networking of machines and plants in the sense of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The research focus of the Automation and Control Technology department includes the necessary technologies for implementing a smart factory. The flexibiliation of production plants contradicts rigid manufacturing execution systems. The rigid structure is replaced by product-centric contol.

To make use oft the data aggregated on the shopfloor, it needs to be collected and provided at the corresponding location. Cloud and edge computing technologies are being tested for this purpose. In order to enable the optimisation of production using this data, it is necessary to contextualise the data using suitable data models.

The broad database forms the basis for determining and optimising resource consumption and ecological value. In combination with the flexible production concepts, economic and ecological sustainability can thus be increased.

The automation of processes is often realised through the use of industrial robotics. Particularly noteworthy are robot-based machining as an alternative to the classic machine tool, as well as the performance of complex assembly operations by robots that work collaboratively with humans. For the integration of humans into the Smart Factory, appropriate interfaces must be created to enable human-machine interaction. In the course of this, the broad use of AI algorithms is being investigated.