A comprehensive and holistic approach to production and logistics constitutes the basis for BIBA’s research activities. The work is focused both on a product- and a process-oriented point of view. While this differentiation is reflected by the two research areas of the institute, in general, BIBA’s work is interdisciplinary and crosses the boundaries between the two areas.
Focusing mainly on products, the research area Application of Information and Communication Technologies in Production (IKAP, Head of IKAP: Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Klaus-Dieter Thoben) provides research on dynamic, co-operative, inter organizational enterprise networks as well as on business practices. The research area Intelligent Production and Logistics Systems (IPS, Head of IPS: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Freitag) works mainly in the area of company and cross-company production and logistics systems, with a special focus on the aspect of dynamics.
Looking at the entire value chain
In the future, being able to synchronize numerous processes in the global value chain will be essential. This requires new planning and control structures and systems in production and logistics. Accordingly, BIBA always takes into consideration the production and logistics system as a whole, the entire product lifecycle and the entire value chain: Starting with the idea and the draft, continuing with the product and its production, its usage and the accompanying services, and concluding with the product’s subsequent usage or final recycling.
Handling dynamic processes
BIBA develops and designs planning and control processes for the automation of complex logistic processes in production and logistics that, so far, have hardly or not at all been standardized, and examines suitable methods and tools to this end. The work encompasses the extensive technical, economic and ecological analysis, modelling and simulations as well as field tests, prototype implementations and, finally, the implementation of high-performance, flexible and functioning applications in the context of production and logistics. Topics in this context are, for example, robotics, object recognition, intelligent sensors and actuators as well as man-machine interaction. The object of BIBA’s work in this area is to influence complex systems in a targeted manner, to control the dynamics of the processes and to exploit potential for improvement.
Supporting a widespread cooperation between companies
In addition to traditional supply chains, business activities in distributed development and production processes as well as the post-production phases have moved more and more into the focus. The object is to identify development and production processes and their structures and to control them collaboratively. This requires a holistic approach which, in addition to technology and market requirements, also considers human beings a central element of the value chain.
BIBA creates, develops and implements methods and tools for supporting enterprise networks with the help of innovative information and communication technologies. Thus, it provides, for example, research on co-operative innovation, risk, quality and process management as well as on product lifecycle management.