Customers increasingly expect products to be tailored precisely to their individual needs. For production, this means a greater diversity of variants with smaller batch sizes through to fully individualized products. This increasing complexity in relation to the products, in conjunction with fluctuating qualities of the raw and auxiliary materials or semi-finished products, places greater demands on the flexibility of production systems.
At Fraunhofer IST, we are building a modular production system with the aim of producing different layer systems with a high number of variants. One area of application is the production of thin-film sensors developed at the institute. The objective is to make surface technology accessible for a multitude of applications in different sectors by shortening run-in times and reducing costs. Beyond the necessary adaptation of the core processes, we also consider support processes and transfer them into an overall system that can be automated. In doing so we answer, amongst others, questions concerning planning and control, logistics and ergonomics, and develop cross-technological solutions for multifunctional components.