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Planning and building products and production plants simultaneously
Date:3/26/2014

In early 2010, LANXESS decided to enter a new field of business, water purification: A production facility for Lewabrane reverse osmosis membrane filter elements was supposed to be built by the fall of 2011. Together with the company's experts, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg designed and had the manufacturing technology ready for production in just nine months. Afterward, they built a second, fully automatic and, therefore, more complex plant in just one year. Part of this plant scaled down will be on display for the first time at our booth at Hannover Messe.

Simultaneous Development and Functional Testing

Small and medium-sized companies that manufacture one off and small series especially profit from the advantages of digital engineering, namely far shorter development times, lower costs and more highly developed designs. Researchers from the Fraunhofer IFF have made it their mission to enable machinery manufacturers to use these methods in their companies.

"We reorganized what has been the usual workflow when developing and implementing custom machinery, for instance," explains Prof. Ulrich Schmucker, manager of the Virtual Engineering Business Unit at the Fraunhofer IFF. "Previously, the design engineers would start, and then the electrical engineers would join in, followed by the programmers and finally the commissioning engineers. With our new methods, everyone works together from the start. The programmers can already start developing software before the machine exists. This step usually doesn't come until the end, once the equipment has been built and connected." This is possible since both the product and every single step of the process are simulated on a computer. The researchers link all of the digital data available.

Cost Effective Custom Development

"We develop custom solutions for whatever clients n
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Contact: Klaus-Ulrich Schmucker
klaus-ulrich.schmucker@iff.fraunhofer.de
49-391-409-0201
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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