Assembly is particularly strongly affected by regularly changing sales expectations, shorter product life cycles and increasing product variance. Thus, producing companies are faced with the challenge of continuously adapting their production systems, while mastering the resulting complexity at the same time. For this, the approach of adaptability is pursued, in order to be able to adapt production systems more easily. While various projects have already improved the adaptability at the station level, key problems remain unresolved at the line level. Typically, these problems result from the used linkage and the corresponding control paradigms that require a locally and temporally rigid process sequence, which is opposed to a straightforward adjustment. For this purpose, a paradigm shift in assembly organisation is necessary.
The aim of the project is the development of a new organisational form for the adaptable, highly versatile assembly for small lots down to lot size 1. The basis for this is the possibility to define the order of production for each product individually according to the availability of assembly stations (so-called job route). The result is an assembly organisation without a fixed cycle time. For this purpose, the planning and design, as well as the control and information allocation, are further developed.
In addition to the development of the organizational form, various technological modules will be developed, for example, a feature-based control and control system with plug and produce functions, mobile robots, flexible feeding and gripping technology as well as station technologies.
Competence assembly – collaborative and adaptable
freeMoVe is integrated in the thematic field “Kompetenz Montage – kollaborativ und wandlungsfähig (KoMo)” of the “Innovationen für die Produktion, Dienstleistung und Arbeit von morgen” program of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It is administrated by the Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA).
The development, design and implementation of new solutions for the assembly of complex piece goods in manufacturing companies are funded. These system solutions have to be aligned as application-oriented and exemplary solutions at the product life cycle of the product to be assembled and the economically optimal degree of automation in assembly.
Thematically freeMoVe is located in the field “Adaptable Assembly Systems”. This field treats the gradual scalability of assembly systems. That means manual, semi-automated and automated system parts must be easily combined in an assembly system. The individual plant components – consisting of different transport systems and process stations – have mechanical, electrical and control engineering interfaces to the overall system. Therefore, research is being carried out on new concepts for the design of adaptable assembly systems as well as on adaptable assembly systems in the dimensions of modularity, reconfigurability, scalability, universality and mobility.
Associated projects of KoMo: