Intelligent products – intelligent development

Cross-sectional project: Systems Engineering

Intelligent technical systems make products and production systems more user-friendly, reliable and resource efficient, with the benefit stemming from interaction between different components and technologies. This places high demands on the product development process, such as requiring a comprehensive understanding of the system and consideration of the full product life cycle. To that end, a variety of disciplines must be brought together in an overarching design approach called systems engineering (SE). As yet, however, this field offers only individual solutions and no holistic methodology. This leads to long development times, frequent adjustments, subsequent changes and poor quality in product development.

The aim of the SE research project by it’s OWL is to develop a set of tools that can be used as part of interdisciplinary work to devise intelligent products and production systems. The focus is on a holistic methodology and providing tools and practical knowledge.

This is accomplished by developing a model that fosters an interdisciplinary understanding of the system and forms the basis for all design activities in each discipline, particularly in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering and control engineering. On that basis, methods are developed to ensure the compatibility of different models throughout the product creation process. Model-based synthesis and analysis methods – error tree and risk analysis, for example – ensure that the system has the specified properties. Guides, tools and a knowledge cluster are also used to provide firms with practical support. The results are then validated by cluster companies and used in projects such as intelligent headlamp development or intelligent processing of large parts.

The project results allow companies to develop intelligent technical systems efficiently and effectively. Development times are reduced, the need for adjustments and subsequent changes is eliminated and product quality is increased. Competitiveness is enhanced. The results are made accessible to other manufacturing companies – e.g. those involved in mechanical engineering, the electrical industry and the automotive supply industry – through transfer projects and disseminated outside the cluster by engineering and consultancy firms. In addition to this, they are also integrated into new university and further education programs.

Project duration
01 July 2012 - 30 June 2017


Study: Systems Engineering in industrial practice (13MB)