Versatile assembly in freely interlinked assembly systems

Key Info

Basic Information

01.01.2017 to 31.12.2019
Organizational Unit:
Chair of Production Metrology and Quality Management, Model-based Systems
Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF

Research partner

    • Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University
    • Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT
    • ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    • Infineon Technologies AG
    • IFSYS GmbH
    • Integrated Feeding Systems Zimmer GmbH
    • HENKEL + ROTH GmbH
    • Philips GmbH,
    • Innovation Services Aachen IST

Industrial assembly is particularly affected by regularly changing sales expectations, shorter product life cycles and increasing product variance. Manufacturing companies are thus faced with the challenge of continuously adapting their production systems while at the same time mastering the resulting complexity.

To this end, the approach of adaptability is pursued in order to be able to adapt production systems more easily. While various projects have already improved adaptability at the station level, decisive problems remain unsolved at the line level. These typically result from the chaining used and the control paradigms based on it, which require a spatially and temporally rigid process sequence, which stands in the way of simple adaptation. This requires a paradigm shift in the assembly organization.

The aim of the project freeMoVe is the development of a new organisational form for the versatile high variant assembly for small quantities up to batch size 1. The basis of the work is the organisational form of free chaining, which can enable an individual order route for individual products in an assembly system, detached from a system-wide cycle time and linear transfer systems. The following technologies were developed to implement this organizational principle: A dynamic control and guidance system that provides a service-oriented interface to workstations or machines, an adapted discrete-event simulation to investigate the dynamics of freely linked assembly systems, flexible feeding technology that uses camera-based component identification, flexible handling technology in the form of a gripper finger changing system and a mobile robot for product transfer that consists of a travel platform and a lightweight robot.

freeMoVe is part of the "Assembly Competence - Collaborative and Versatile - KoMo" funding programme of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research - BMBF, which focuses on "Innovations for Tomorrow's Production, Services and Work".