Monitoring of the production process
Industry 4.0 und Big Data are the driving force for innovations in the field of test and measurement technology. Big Data in particular will play a key role in the smart factories of the future. This means relocating the testing functionality from the lab to the actual production system. Fraunhofer IZFP is actively developing application scenarios and solutions to support such in-line testing systems for manufacturing environments.
Here the emphasis is on new production processes, which contain an inherent risk of developing new quality issues. The current development activities focus on applications such as press hardening, friction stir welding and other processes for manufacturing composite materials and material composites made from CFRP, aluminum, titanium and magnesium.
Because they can be quickly adapted to the changing requirements of mass customization, adaptive manufacturing processes are being deployed more often. To monitor these complex production processes, quality monitoring must be carried out in process and in situ. Fraunhofer IZFP is developing new inspection solutions to support these applications. Moreover, these new tasks and new challenges also call for new skills and know-how. With this in mind, Fraunhofer IZFP is collaborating with the Grundig Academy to design training courses covering new production processes such as press hardening and friction stir welding.
In the near future, "production-integrated inspection" will be used to generate a nearly real-time map of complete production processes by means of distributed, networked sensors. By combining test and measurement data with other production-related data, self-monitoring and self-optimizing production processes can then be implemented using machine learning techniques. Production-integrated inspection is thus closely linked to the issue of Big Data. Even today, Fraunhofer IZFP is developing intelligent monitoring and control systems based on data fusion for applications such as laser beam welding.
One consequence of Industry 4.0 is that quality assurance applications will continue to be more automated and connected. Innovative robots and autonomous systems can significantly expand the range of potential applications for production-integrated inspection. With this in mind, Fraunhofer IZFP relies on collaborating robots, because their utilization ensures reversibility during the transition from manual to automated inspection services while making it possible to minimize the development risks.
Adaptive Manufacturing Processes, Production Integration, Collaborating Robots, Press Hardening, Friction Stir Welding