In Factory - Cellular Transport Systems

© Fraunhofer IML

The future of manufacturing in general and of intralogistics for the supply of production facilities will change continuously. Researchers expect growth rates in productivity as well as increasing individualization through consumer-oriented adaptations of mass-produced goods. Meanwhile, the boundaries between production, assembly and logistics are increasingly merging. With the ongoing changes, intralogistics systems must react more agilely and flexibly to new requirements. Customer-specific product adaptations have an impact on the entire production chain. The sequence of production steps and even the topology of a production plant are no longer necessarily rigid, so that the provision and collection of material and semi-finished products must be flexible in the various phases of production. From rigid conveyor systems to mobile driverless transport vehicles, which ideally can perform internal transports robustly and reliably even in dynamic environments. This requires suitable solutions on a technical level up to the integration into the production control.

The main objective of the project is to analyse the requirements and functions of an intelligent autonomous transport system in the context of flexible manufacturing and to define a system layer as an "operating system" (OS) for decentral controlled cellular transport and production systems. The main research focus is on environment-based indoor navigation methods and the use of service-based architecture patterns in highly distributed dynamic systems.