ICT applications for production

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Klaus-Dieter Thoben

High performing co-operations between independent companies with the aim to develop and to realise customised products are an important success factor for the competitiveness of the European industry. Due to immense political changes and global markets, new ways of co-operations, so called enterprise networks, can be seen in addition to the traditional supply chains. These enterprise networks are often formed to realise a single customers’ order and play an important role during the conceptual phase (product design) as well as during the realisation phase (production).

The research unit IKAP prepares, develops and realises methods and tools to support co-operative, inter-organisational enterprise networks. The research concentrates on efficient and effective collaborative design and production processes by applying innovative information and communication technologies (ICT). As focus can be seen the collaborative acting of enterprises during distributed design and production processes as well as during the late processes of the product life cycle such as the usage phase or the recycling phase.

The research results are integrated in the academic education of the next generation engineers (mechanical engineering, industrial management, systems engineering) at the University of Bremen. Another application field of the research results are industrial projects where innovative approaches are transferred to practical problems.

The research unit BIBA-IKAP is divided into three departments:

Intelligent ICT for co-operative production

Head of Department: Dipl.-Inform. Karl Hribernik 

The department “Intelligent ICT for co-operative production deals with the application of latest IC-technologies to develop and to implement co-operative networks. Within this context, the acquisition, provision and transformation of process and product related information is considered. This information is used to integrate real products with their digital representation, the product avatar, along the whole product life cycle.

By combing the latest communication technologies of the 3rd. and 4th. Generation with the latest positioning technologies (e.g. Galileo), new context and customer specific services can be realised along the whole product life cycle. These services can improve the competiveness of today’s enterprises.

By using the information triple identity-location-time, which is in principle available for all entities (resources, products etc.) in real time, new challenges can be seen when designing networked production and logistics systems.

Collaborative Business in Enterprise networks

Head of Department: Stefan Wiesner

The department collaborative business in Enterprise networks develops solutions for inter-organisational collaborations. The ability to integrate the most applicable partners in a short term collaboration is the core competence of potential partners in a dynamic network. Fields of interest are theoretical models, management concepts and the related ICT applications. Actual works are the in the areas of innovation, performance measurement, risk management and gaming to support the collaborative acting within networked organisations. The following research questions do structure the research work:

  • How can different types of networks be configured according to the needs of a specific order?
  • How can collaborative processes be designed and controlled?
  • How can the ability of an enterprise to co-operate be measured and improved?

Integrated Product and Process design

Head of Department: Dr.-Ing. Jan-Hendrik Ohlendorf

The department Integrated Product and Process design develops ICT based solution to support the product design processes. The main interest in this context is the development of knowledge based systems to support the product design as well as the management of complex products during the whole product life cycle. Aspects of the research are the management of information and communication as well as the PDM including the related technologies. The research field “ICT management” deals with the development of IC structures to exchange information as well as knowledge during the product design phase in an efficient way. The goal is to provide the right information and knowledge in the right time at the right location which means to enrich the product by applying Product Embedded Identification (PEID).

In this context, aspects of Rapid prototyping and Virtual reality are also considered. Research works in this context are integrating virtual reality with the product design phase. Knowledge based manufacturing deals with the development of knowledge based software tools to support design and production processes.