Research project “Production 4.0”
Technologies for quality-controlled process and production optimization

The progressive digitization and networking in production is a challenge for German companies on the way to the ideal of Industry 4.0. Especially for small and medium-sized companies, the required high-tech processes are a major obstacle. The purpose of this research and development project is to provide SMEs in the production environment with access to networked technologies and to facilitate the introduction and implementation of Industry 4.0 through new concepts and methods.

The highest level of quality, precision and efficiency are the distinguishing features of modern production processes. The optical measuring and testing technology is one of the key technologies to ensure these attributes and thus to maintain competitiveness in the national and international environment. By comparing measured data with nominal data, e.g. Quality deviations in component and surface quality reliably detected. The increasing industrial spread and the wide range of applications open up new and highly innovative fields of application – in particular through data networking and analysis of quality data in correlation with data from upstream production processes.

A previously unused and significant optimization potential for more efficient and resource-saving production lies in the automatic root cause analysis of quality fluctuations and the simultaneous derivation of correction parameters. For this purpose, the data sources of the process, the production system and quality assurance must be networked with each other in such a way that quality fluctuations can be mathematically attributed to deviations and errors in upstream process steps and corrected.

The currently existing technological gaps and scientific challenges facing the project are enormous and even more diverse. They consist mainly in:

• the mathematical modelling of the dependencies of production data, process data and quality data,
• the methods for process simulation and process forecasting,
• Real-time analysis and interpretation of large and high-dimensional feature spaces in the production cycle,
• The methods of involving production workers in the data analysis process through interaction and visualization.

The aim of the research project is therefore to research and develop highly innovative algorithmic processes for process analysis and process optimization based on quality and production data – quality controlled production – with the result of offering new and improved products and services to the market. The solution to these challenging scientific and technological challenges will enable us and our partners to systematically implement the strategic goals of Industry 4.0 and to provide SMEs and industrialized trades in Saxony-Anhalt with innovative technologies and new products to increase production efficiency. On the basis of the planned technology development, it is also the goal to develop innovative business models, which are an essential prerequisite for the sustainable design of a competitive offer for companies in the Saxony-Anhalt economy.

The high degree of innovation of the development project is particularly evident in the fact that the totality of the data flow in the production process, from digital design data to process data and quality assurance, is considered. Because only through the networking and simultaneous analysis of several process steps, the enormous technical and economic optimization potential and the associated significant scientific challenges arise.

Production 4.0 is funded by the state of Saxony Anhalt and the European Commission. The project owner is the Investment Bank of Saxony-Anhalt.