Flexible Production - Industrial Automation

As part of Industry 4.0, manufacturing companies are increasingly digitizing their production processes. Machines, systems and processes communicate with each other to achieve greater efficiency, adaptability and productivity. Specifically, the networked production of the intelligent factory enables, for example, smaller batch sizes and just-in-time production. It also supports concepts such as predictive maintenance and ensures more efficient maintenance. Last but not least, networked systems can help companies improve their service quality and make their production facilities highly available, so that they can continue to operate without restriction even in the event of component failures.

Flaschen auf einem Laufband, Industrie 4.0, Automatisierung
© iStock.com/leventince

Objective: Flexible and adaptive production systems

This paradigm shift towards a holistic view - also through the use of artificial intelligence - places high demands on the flexibility and adaptivity of production systems. They must produce safely and reliably even in dynamic environments. AI applications are in data-driven automation, system condition and asset monitoring, and quality assurance and optimization.

Fully automated systems contain complex software structures that have to fulfill diverse requirements both, on a functional level and from a non-functional point of view. Manufacturing companies must overcome the challenges of implementing such a system, regardless of the level of design.

This is where Fraunhofer IKS comes in. Based on individually derived evaluation criteria, we evaluate software solutions, support AI integration and develop future-oriented concepts for products, systems and processes with you. 

Fraunhofer IKS services

  • Automated production: Adaptive and robust AI-driven architectures in intelligent manufacturing. Supporting the implementation of networked and knowledge-based production systems.
  • Predictive maintenance: Minimized downtimes and optimized maintenance plans with AI-driven predictive analytics and quantum computing. 
  • Visual inspection and quality control: Better product quality and fewer errors with AI-driven visual inspection systems.
  • Intelligent control via cloud computing: Methods and tools for fail-safe function outsourcing or control from the cloud.
  • Collaborative robotics: Autonomous task management and optimization of software architectures for efficient mobile multi-robot collaborations.
  • Digital twin: Support and optimization of process monitoring and early detection of deviations. 
  • DevOps: Provision and continuous integration of safety functions via known DevOps frameworks.
  • Intelligent human-machine interface: Increased productivity and efficiency thanks to intuitive and intelligent interfaces.

References and more information


Infrastructure sensors for safe, automated forklifts

Together with Hitachi, Fraunhofer IKS has investigated whether infrastructure sensors increase safety in a warehouse with automated forklifts. To do this, the researchers created a simulation framework for the movements of automated guided vehicles in warehouses based on Webots.


Safeguarding autonomous mobile robotic systems

Fraunhofer IKS and Magazino GmbH are conducting the research project “RoboDevOps – Continuous development and safeguarding of autonomous, mobile robotic systems” to research new DevOps concepts and evaluate them based on specific scenarios.


Simple AI integration for Industry 4.0

In the joint project REMORA, Fraunhofer IKS works on the simple integration of AI services in Industry 4.0. Its goal is to simplify the integration of AI for the real-time analysis of machine data and to develop tools for high-quality, dynamic machine data.


Cloud-Based Production Controls

In the Cloud-based Industrial Services (CICS) project the Fraunhofer IKS researchers shape the production steering to be interoperable and flexible, by transferring part of it into the cloud.


Industrial automation blog articles

You want to learn more? Then take a look at our blog. Here you will find all blog articles on the topics of industry and production.