Intelligent tools

Foto aus der Automontage
© BMW Group

In many areas of production, such as the screwing together of vehicle parts, assembly work is performed using hand-guided tools. Here, the fitter must pay close attention in order to ensure that all screw connections are properly and fully executed. Nevertheless, mistakes can happen, and so Fraunhofer IIS and the Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services SCS are exploring the use of smart sensors for quality control and to assist fitters in manual operations. A cost-effective smart sensor module has now been developed that allows tools to be retrofitted regardless of the tool manufacturer. This smart module detects the start of the screwing process, the screwing direction, and the achievement of the configured torque, for example. It is connected to the production systems and uses sensor data to verify order fulfillment. Algorithms and methods based on data analysis and machine learning combine information about the individual working steps of the intelligent tool with position data, and process and analyze this information in real time. The fitter simultaneously receives real-time feedback via LEDs, for example.

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This video shows how our cognitive sensor module turns hand tools into intelligent tools and how they can be used as CPS for quality monitoring of assembly processes in production.

Further information


Tool Tracking

Even in highly automated production, many work processes need to be performed manually. Technicians need to take great care if production work processes are to run smoothly. When dealing with individualized products, information on the work to be done can change regularly. And when that happens, it is important that tools are used correctly, to ensure both quality and the safety of technicians.

Industry 4.0 in practice

Here you will find further fields of application devoted in the project: