Digitization and networking allow companies to establish a direct informational flow between process planning, execution and control (vertical integration). Information about orders, machines and products can be directly forwarded to the decision-maker in real time. Increased transparency improves responsiveness and creates new optimization paths.
The research area Smart Products & Processes uses these new technologies and focuses on the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. Companies are supported both in the definition of development goals as well as with respect to conceptualization and implementation. The spectrum ranges from (digital) business models to product development and production processes, supported by new technologies.
Ongoing and planned research fields are application options for augmented and virtual reality, predictive maintenance (“digital twin”) and automation in production or also the usage of RFID, NFC and QR in logistics and production. The examination of options for a lean and comprehensible provision of essential information on the job floor as well as support of lean management through ERP and MES systems are also critically important.