Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University of Stuttgart draws up guides for medium-sized enterprises

22.06.2015

Logistics without clock and belt

For over 100 years assembly in the automobile industry has gone in cycle sequences in which it is precisely determined when, where and how a certain work step is to take place.


To make production logistics more flexible, current standardised load carriers (below) are to be equipped with communication technology and supplemented with small trays.

Photo: University Stuttgart/IFT

For production logistics this means that the materials must also be delivered to the conveyor belt according to this cycle. This system has led to goods being able to be produced efficiently, quickly and above all cost effectively.

However, this is too rigid for the requirements of today’s adaptable production with increasingly numerous product variations in increasingly smaller quantities. In the framework of the research campus ARENA2036 the Institute of Mechanical Logistics and Logistics (IFT) at the University of Stuttgart is working on solutions enabling more flexibility and changeability and is drawing up a guideline with the support of the State of Baden-Württemberg for smaller and medium-sized companies. This could lead to electric cars in particular becoming cheaper.

Today in the automobile industry vehicles go through the final assembly from a clocked belt or similar conveyor technology. Specific parts are made available and assembled at each assembly place until the complete vehicle ultimately leaves the production hall.

This system has its strengths if the assembly stations are to be supplied with similar or identical materials in larger quantities – in borderline cases with all parts that are needed for the vehicles to be assembled in the next shift. In view of a greatly increased number of variations in the automobile industry (for example of the 1.1 million sold Mercedes A-Class cars from the latest model range only two were identical), however, clocked production reaches its limits: here only the parts are to be made available that are needed for the assembly of a specific vehicle, which leads to an explosive increase in logistics costs.

The development of electro mobility aggravates this issue since the complexity in production increases further with the parallel production of hybrid and electric vehicles – a reason for electro vehicles being disproportionately expensive. The Stuttgart scientists want to overcome this hurdle through using innovative assembly stations, individual material provision concepts and improvements in the changeability of production. The findings are to be transferred to other areas of the producing industry.

One of the centrepieces of the logistic solutions developed at IFT form intelligent, self-controlling load carriers as well as innovative storage elements. The load carriers common in the automobile industry of the small load carrier type with a size of 600 x 400 x 280 millimetres, of which around 30 million items are in circulation, do not communicate and are lined with disposable inlays to protect the transported goods. Future load carriers in contrast are to be padded with an innovative filling material in which an RFID tag as well as a position finding unit are integrated.

The equipping of the load carriers with communication and position finding systems enable the localisation of the carrier in the room as well as the data exchange and the integration of the carrier in the overall control of the assembly plant. Since the dimensions of the current small load carriers for the single delivery of model components in addition are too large and give away transport capacities, the IFT is devising trays on the basis of the basic small load carrier dimensions in which smaller containers can be used.

Arranged in bars, the trays and small load carriers are to be received in future by innovative warehouse elements and handled automatically. The conveyance is done with the help of driverless transport vehicles (FTF).

In order to keep the model number of these transport appliances low and to guarantee a high level of utilisation of the units in operation, a universal concept is to be developed that is based on the principle of a carrier platform with exchangeable accessory equipment and has various functional interfaces. The special feature of this new automatic warehouse is providing material “just in real time“ (JIR), since the current delivery “just in sequence“ (JIS) cannot react quickly enough to changes.

The scientists from the IFT are preparing their research results into a freely accessible guideline for medium-sized companies that show the implementation of the innovative logistics concepts including their connection to linked load carriers and a bar concept.

The guideline is also to focus on why changes are necessary in production logistics in order to cope with an increasing diversity of models. The Ministry for Finances and Economic Affairs Baden-Württemberg funds the project with around 160,000 Euros.

Further information:
Prof. Karl-Heinz Wehking, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Conveyor Technology and Logistics, Tel. 0711/685-83770, Email: Karl-Heinz.Wehking (at) ift.uni-stuttgart.de

Andrea Mayer-Grenu | Universität Stuttgart
Further information:
http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>