Research

 

In our research projects, we work in close collaboration with organizations of the manufacturing industry, solution providers, and other research institutes on highly relevant topics in the field of quality-oriented organizational development. Our objective is to solve scientific and practical problems with the purpose of transferring our findings into practice.

List of Publications


Ongoing research projects

HUMKareS - Human-centered Performance Indicators Approach for Improvement on Shopfloor Performance
HUMKareS is a joint research project with Koblenz University of Applied Science funded by The German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) within the program for sponsorship by Industrial Joint Research (IGF) of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The project deals with the question of how to improve shopfloor productivity by developing key performance indicators (KPI) appropriate for the respective employees. In order to enable small and medium sized enterprises (SME) to digitally collect shopfloor data and efficiently optimize performance, a KPI system is developed. The project’s main goal is to positively influence shopfloor performance by worker-oriented presentation of KPI. This comprises the targeted selection of KPI, their visualization and conjunction with gamification approaches in order to increase the workers’ motivation. In the following, this KPI system including the selected gamification approach will be validated by students and workers within the Modellfabrik Koblenz. Finally, the results will be implemented into a MES-module to facilitate the usage within the companies.

Further information and regular reports about current progresses can be found on the project’s website (www.humkares.wzl.rwth-aachen.de).


Escape Room
This project simulates a prototypical workplace in production of a small-to-medium enterprise in a scenario similar to an “escape room” game. Thereby, different application scenarios of technologies from the chair of production metrology and quality management at WZL are depicted. With the help of various digital tools and new technologies, groups of up to five people have to solve typical production-related, quality-relevant problems. Team members decide on how to best use the available tools to complete the tasks at hand as soon as possible and achieve a position among the “top teams.” The “gamified” setup is designed to illustrate the practical application of research outcomes to various target groups. More concretely, the various use cases for digital tools and new technologies highlight the stepwise transformation on the path towards the workplace of the future, and they demonstrate how staff can be trained ‘on the job’ to apply new technologies.

The projects progress can be followed online on the official website of the University Competition (www.hochschulwettbewerb.net/escaperoom/), where updates, photos and other content will be posted regularly.

Starting in December 2018, the Escape Room can be booked by companies and schools. Further information and registration will be found shortly on the project’s website www.escroom.wzl.rwth-aachen.de.


Step2Future
RWTH Aachen University supports the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) within the program “Transnational Education – Strengthening and Excellence by Building Profiles” (TNB-STEP) from 2017 to 2021, provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). GUtech is a private university in Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, and offers several undergraduate programs as well as graduate programs. Since its foundation in 2007, it has been supported by the Chair of Production Metrology and Quality Management at RWTH Aachen University, under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Schmitt, with funding from the DAAD. During the first project from 2007 to 2012 the focus was on the implementation of a quality management system covering all areas of the university. The second project "Step2Go" dealt among other things with the establishment of study programmes and further education offers. The main objectives of the current project are the continuation of the project results and the partnership in general, improved communication structures and, in particular, strengthening the connection to Germany.
For further information: www.step2future.rwth-aachen.de/


Competence Center for SMEs
The overall aim of "Digital in NRW - the Competence Centre for SMEs" is to prepare small and medium-sized enterprises in NRW for the industrial transformations associated with Industrie 4.0. More precisely, various experts from different research institutes support SMEs in innovating their products, digitalizing their production and entire value creation processes, and starting new business areas. However, besides approaching the technical challenges, succeeding the industrial transformation requires new employee competencies. The work of employees in all areas like development, production, and sales changes dramatically. Therefore, it is important to identify which specific competencies are required for the future world of work and how these can be trained. For this purpose, the Competence Centre offers, among others, a variety of services regarding employee qualification to all regional SMEs (e.g., in-house trainings, blended learning courses, train the trainer activities).
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) funds the project within the funding initiative "SME 4.0 - Digital production and work processes".


SmartFM: Integration of Failure Management in Smart Factories
The approaches of industry 4.0, in particular the smart factory, enable organizations to digitalize and connect their productions. The overall aim of the research project SmartFM is to increase the responsiveness of production systems in relation to failures and to detect, analyze and solve problems earlier. The project SmartFM intends to integrate a failure management approach in an existing IT-infrastructure to contribute to the recent developments of smart factories. The outcome of this 3-year project is a software prototype to support the internal failure management, which meets the requirements of industry 4.0. The prototype is in particular characterized by a high degree of cross-linking with other systems (e.g., ERP, MES, CAQ) and extensive automation.


Recently finished research projects

Complaint 2: Development of an Empirically based Design Model for the Effective and Efficient Analysis, Processing and Usage of Complaint Information
The aim of this research project is to develop a decision model for the use and transfer of information that arises during the processing of complaints (complaint information) with the aim of sustainable complaint management. For this purpose, the procedure builds on the design model, which was developed in a previous project (Complaint 1). In particular, the phase of the knowledge transfer is considered in more detail. It will be examined explicitly how the long-term effect of complaint handling can be improved by the use of knowledge-based methods. The long-term effect is described by the construct of "corporate quality", which has been used in the first project period. However, it only relates to the following product generations this time. Hence, the focus will be on the interface of complaint management for product and process development. The developed model supports the decision making process for the use of knowledge-based methods in technical complaint management based on essential organizational descriptors.


VariSafe: Risk Assessment for Machine Safety across Variants
The directive 2006/42/EC sets out essential safety requirements that a machine manufacturer has to meet before its products may be sold on the European market. The core procedure to meet the provisions of the directive is the so-called risk assessment. At present, the risk assessment in the industrial environment is often carried out unsystematically and rather isolated from the entire product development process. The research project VariSafe, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aims at improving this process concerning efficiency and quality. Ideally, risk assessment should begin during the configuration of machines by customers. Thus, a better process integration and software support are required. Main requirements address a closer integration of ERP systems with the risk assessment process. This is realized by a software prototype, which links risk assessment software to SAP. ERP data facilitate risk assessment across variants and provide information to reduce the workload for each risk assessment.


DFG Research Training Group Ramp-up Management - Development of Decision Models for Production Ramp-up
The DFG Research Training Group “Ramp-up Management” is characterized by its interdisciplinary approach to ramp-up management research. The production ramp-up takes on a key role in the life cycle of products: in this phase, the prototype of the design stage is further developed and prepared for serial production. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary Research Training Group is the development of a decision model for complex decision-making situations during production ramp-up. The decision model will allow managers to anticipate problems in the ramp-up process and enable them proactively to develop solution strategies. Special emphasis is placed on finding a suitable research methodology, which - as a standardized frame of reference - must be considered a prerequisite for scientific progress.


Step2Go: Development of a Technical University according to German Standards in the Sultanate of Oman
The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) was founded in 2007 in cooperation with the RWTH Aachen University in Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. Due to the continuous increase in student numbers and demands regarding the professional and personal education of those, the accompanying development of new, innovative structures in the context of university teaching and research is essential. The advancement of teaching concepts requires a parallel stabilization and adaptation of established structures and processes. Therefore, three strategic key objectives of this project are the further development of study programs and advanced training offerings, the implementation of innovative structures and components in teaching and research as well as strengthening the connection to Germany.


Your contact:



 

Dr. Ina Heine
Oberingenieurin
BGH 108
Tel.: +49 241 80-25782
Fax: +49 241 80-22293
Mail: I.Heine@wzl.rwth-aachen.de