Automation and customization for future production

IoT applications in production and logistics

Forschungsfeld »IoT-Anwendungen in Produktion und Logistik«, Flurförderzeuge in einer Halle
© Fraunhofer IIS/David Hartfiel/Franziska Köhler

The arrival of new digital and IoT technology is changing the face of production and logistics. Such systems are used to monitor, automate and support an increasing number of production and warehousing processes – be it to gain information about these processes or to control them more efficiently. This technology is advancing all the time. Sensors are getting smaller and smarter, more adaptable and more energy-efficient. They monitor the status of, say, production machinery even under extreme conditions, transmitting data that is fed into increasingly complex infrastructures to be processed at an ever faster rate.

Full connectivity with cyberphysical systems

Companies therefore find themselves facing a growing range of new services and products that they must somehow factor into their own digitalization strategies.

In the future, moreover, it will no longer suffice merely to digitalize an individual process in isolation from others. Instead, cyberphysical systems (CPS) involve flexible, interconnected systems of communication in which each subsystem, each machine cluster, each machine will “talk” with one another. This in turn supposes the possibility of vertical and horizontal communication between individual elements of the system at all times. Once this is in place, then production robots, for example, will be able to do more than merely perform specific tasks – they will also be able to interact with other machines or even people.

 

Smart processes and smart assets enable connected production systems

 

To transition to Industrie 4.0, the production sector therefore requires suitable infrastructures and software interfaces between production machinery and the systems that capture and process the data automatically generated during production. At the same time, these systems need to be fed with the right data. In other words, existing processes and assets will have to become increasingly intelligent in the future. This in turn requires prototypes that function at the level of the technology and the specific process.

Fraunhofer SCS is therefore seeking to develop connected systems and prototypes for production and logistics that factor in both the process and the technology used and that enable communication throughout the system as a whole.

How we automate and customize IoT applications

When it comes to production and logistics, companies often lack the experience, resources or personnel required to survey the market for leading IoT technologies and to ascertain what they can do. The same reasons hinder them from going ahead with their own digitalization projects and prototype development. Fraunhofer SCS can offer assistance here. By combining our proficiency in software development, software integration and software optimization with the expertise of our parent institute, Fraunhofer IIS, in the development of sensors and other hardware, we are able to:

  • Advise customers on questions of basic feasibility, the selection of technology and system components, and carrying out Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Internet of Things (IoT) projects.
  • Develop software interfaces and infrastructure solutions for connected systems so that a wide variety of data can be merged to generate new information and be made available as required.
  • Develop IoT pilot systems either as an in-house project or as a joint rapid IoT prototyping project in which we design and realize MVP demonstrators as quickly as possible for concrete company applications.

Practical insights

Focus Projects and Publications

 

Find out more about our current focus projects and pubications in our fields of research.

Project

Technologies and Solutions for Digitalized Value Creation

Study

IT-Outsourcing Behavior in the Logistics Sector

An International Systematic and Comparative Scenario Analysis

Study

The impact of digital technologies on the value creation of companies in the manufacturing industry

Find out more about Fraunhofer SCS

 

Success and added value thanks to data

Sustained success in a changing world: this is the vision of Fraunhofer SCS

 

Business units

Based on the insights from our fields of research, we devise concrete advisory services for specific sectors and client groups. Find out more about our range of services in the business units »Logistics, Transport and Mobility«, »Wholesale and B2B Markets«, »Digital Production« and »Smart Services«.

 

Scientific expertise in the reference process

The methodological expertise developed in our fields of research is informed by our specially developed Reference Process for Digital Transformation. Read about what this initiative means to us, and how we can use our expertise to comprehensively support companies.