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Interdisciplinary clusters

Research areas of the GSaME

Research Cluster


Stuttgart Enterprise Model is the Base

The theoretical basis is the Stuttgart Enterprise Model which is related to the systems theory. According to this definition, the factory itself is a product with different life cycles. It is hierarchically structured in performance units. The single performance unit has to be considered a self-organizing cell that carries out assigned tasks and controls, thus configures and optimizes itself. With consistent standardization, this approach is applicable to any process chain on every scale and leads to a sustained transformability of production.

Digital and Virtual Engineering

The application of digital and virtual methods aims at comprehending the factory as a complex product and at optimizing it integrally in order to produce even small lots cost-efficiently and timely for the current fast moving and individualizing markets. For that purpose, the digital factory models the status quo of the existing factory including its resources, logistic demands and production orders. In the virtual factory the planning gets optimized: The future production is simulated on all scales, based on the actual condition of the present factory. Thus, the impact of improvements can be tested fast, economically and without risk in virtual reality and creates optimized planning scenarios by "learning from the future".

Materials and Process Engineering

The materials and process engineering wants to develop new substances, whose properties are determined in advance and thus are ideally adapted to their future application. Material properties can be influenced by the substance itself, material combinations and the production process. Thereby the reciprocal effects between materials production techniques have to be further examined. This well directed controlling of material behavior will be coped with on all scales from nano and micro parts to complete machines.

Networking in Manufacturing

A smooth and well orga¬nized value chain from the supplier to the work flow design is a key factor to cost-efficient production. The high demands which small lots, customized goods and high process and product complexity as well as on-demand manufacturing put on these organizational structures cannot be met with classical lean management, geared towards huge lots and simple processes. Due to this fact, a standardization initiative is to be created including all aspect of modern production networks. Therefore, a special focus is put on the reliability and availability of systems and the use of synergies.

ICT for Manufacturing

Modern production systems need efficient tools for managing, engineering and processing which are completely included in internal and external communica¬tions architectures and applications. Open systems and embedded electronics make it possible to realize an integrated, knowledge-based production. Standardization, modularization and system engineering contribute to the transformability and mutability of production. One aim is the real-time factory in which the present state of the factory can be digitally reproduced via architectures and applications and possible adaptations, for example, triggered by changes in customer requests can be performed self-adaptively.

Knowledge-based Management

Knowledge about machines, processes and networks existing implicitly and explicitly in all units of a company, has to be documented and made publicly available in order to have best-practice libraries for the future. In order to sustainably guarantee the transformability and mutability of a factory, the knowledge-based management has not only to be applied to employees but also integrated in machines and processes. For the actual application this includes using and handling technologies, building expert networks and managing innovations.

Intelligent Production Systems

Today, production enterprises must be able to react quickly and efficiently to changing requirements. Flexible, reconfigurable and intelligent production systems are an important basis for this. A consequently modular structure, the use of mechatronic system components, an efficient control and drive technology as well as knowledge-based software systems for engineering and programming are key elements. The aim of this cluster is to continue with development of these technologies consistantly and to promote new research fields such as condition-dependent maintenance and repair, intelligent sensor data processing, situation-oriented user assistance as well as self-learning, self-adapting, self-optimizing and the use of digital machine models for the control and diagnosis of these production systems.

Life Cycle Sustainable Management

Sustainable life cycle management develops methods and concepts combining economic and ecological as well as societal and entrepreneurial aspects. Within the economic system this includes survival strategies for turbulent markets as well as identifying and supporting long-lasting technologies. An efficient use of energy and resources in production and processes not only avoids waste, but gives also important incentives for the planning of plant and supply networks.