There are more than 450 automated production stations – from body-shell work to assembly – in Daimler’s C-class production plant in Bremen. In order to keep everything in view, control systems map the entire production flow and make it possible to see the whole factory at a glance.
If a machine breaks down or some other disruption occurs, this can be seen in the control system. However, the system does not indicate the resulting effects. Are there likely to be bottlenecks in the early shift? At which station? Will the output targets be reached? The greater the complexity of a production line, the more difficult it is to assess the overall impact of a disruption.
This situation will soon change: The world’s first agent-based production control system ProVis.Agent® controls and monitors the Mercedes C-class assembly lines. “The system works out what the worker in the control room needs to do in order to achieve the defined output target: for instance by postponing a scheduled break, redeploying the workers on the production lines, or changing the sequence of the vehicles at short notice,” explains Dr.-Ing. Olaf Sauer, head of the control systems business unit at the Fraunhofer Institute for Information and Data Processing IITB in Karlsruhe, where ProVis.Agent was developed.
Conventional shopfloor-related software systems are not usually interlinked, which means that information has to be painstakingly and to some extent manually collected and interpreted. “A new generation of shopfloor-related IT systems has become established to ensure that planning systems and operative control systems interact smoothly. They are known by the collective term of ‘manufacturing execution systems’, or MES for short, and their components are interlinked by software agents or services,” explains Sauer.
The system was recently commissioned at the press shop in Bremen. “This is the first time we have ever been able to integrate information from different press shop IT systems in the control system,” says Sauer. “There are cameras monitoring the scrap metal conveyers and the loading of wagons, and an operating data registration system monitors the presses and conveyers. The press shop uses automatically guided vehicles, a new inventory management system, and SAP for order management. Our integration platform combines all of these applications in a central control room for overarching operation and observation.”
Monika Weiner | alfa
Self-driving cars for country roads
07.05.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology