Automation & Robotics
Studies on this topic are carried out in terms of both the basic and applied research. In the first case, methods and technologies are designed and developed for the performance enhancement (e.g. time reduction, energy saving, vibration suppression, weight reduction, safety) of automatic machines as well as mechanisms and robots. In the second case, applied research topics are developed as answer companies to inputs such as soft gripping, quality inspection, automation of non-standard and complex production processes.
Mechatronics & Electric Drives
This topic includes the design and implementation of mechatronic devices for the industry 4.0 developments, e.g. machine automatic control, predictive maintenance, smart sensing and actuation. Further it includes the analysis, design and control of electric drives for modern applications, which provide, besides pure motion control, the sensing, processing and communication infrastructure, which enables the development and implementation of high-level automation and human-machine interaction strategies (e.g. self-identification of machine and load parameters, automatic tuning of controllers, machinery data collection and predictive maintenance).
Simulation & Digital Twin
The focus of this research is on the application of simulation systems in order to create a digital twin of physical production systems and factories. Therefore, different systems of simulations are applied in various levels. In the level of material flow, simulation systems are used for discrete event simulations and layout-planning. In the layer of machinery and systems, process simulations are used for manual, hybrid and automized systems as well as for ergonomic analysis.
One focus of this research area is collaborative robotics and how collaborative workplaces can be designed ergonomically and safely. Intuitive and simple methods are also being developed to control robots and machines and thus facilitate their application in industry.
Hybrid Assembly Systems
This focus includes the use of a combination of manual workstations and automated or semi-automated stations in assembly. One focus is the design of human-centered (anthropocentric) production systems in order to use human capabilities in the best possible way.
Assistance Systems for Production
This focus includes the investigation of (smart) assistance systems to facilitate work for people. Assistance systems can reduce physical workload, can also minimize the mental workload through sensor-based or cognitive abilities and thus lead to error reduction and increased efficiency.
The use of virtual and augmented reality is manifold and is studied in the laboratory in the manufacturing and assembly environment, as well as for applications in the building industry and in maintenance. This includes the combination with simulation systems for digital factory and process planning as well as with building information modeling systems.
I4.0 Learning Factories
Learning factories have become an integral part of engineering education and enable practical application of what has been learned in a realistic factory environment. This argument focuses in particular on how learning factories should be designed in the future to support the transfer of knowledge in the field of industry 4.0 methods and technologies.
The research focus includes the optimization and digitization of processes and procedures in construction management. This includes above all real-time planning and monitoring of the construction site as well as the synchronization of the fabrication shop to the site. A special focus is given to the engineer-to-order environment. Furthermore, the focus is on topics for intelligent connectivity of construction processes, data management in construction projects (Building Information Modeling) and the use of modern assistance tools such as Virtual and Augmented Reality.