Scientific Automation Platform
With increasing competitive pressure and dwindling resources, production units must be developed and run in a productive, reliable and energy-efficient manner. Intelligent automation solutions allow production units to autonomously anticipate wear, reduce emissions and immissions, optimize energy consumption and avoid production faults. In order to exploit potential, automation technology must be supplemented with additional intelligent processes and technologies such as self-optimization, learning processes, condition monitoring or image processing. This is made possible by integrating information and communications technology into automation technology. This is called “Scientific Automation”.
The aim of the research project is to create a Scientific Automation platform for developing intelligent production systems capable of running in real time. The core of the platform consists of reusable solution elements in the form of hardware and software components that provide the automation technology necessary for sustainable production.
The first step in developing the Scientific Automation platform is to identify and investigate technologies that allow for new intelligent functions to be integrated into automation technology. The results of these studies are compiled into a technology roadmap which, based on technical and commercial criteria, suggests priorities for implementing these technologies in elements of Scientific Automation solutions. Software modules and intelligent bus terminals are created from the technologies in line with the roadmap. Software tools, a runtime environment capable of operating in real time, and a methodology for using the Scientific Automation platform are developed parallel to this. This involves drawing on the results of cross-sectional projects, e.g. self-optimisation, human-machine interaction and systems engineering. Finally, the platform’s performance is validated in pilot applications.
The use of Scientific Automation in production systems reduces energy consumption, waste, throughput times and harmful emissions by at least 10%. At the same time, tool life can also be extended. The productivity, sustainability and reliability of production systems are increased while the costs of the automation technology remain almost the same. Implementation of the market-ready platform is expected to create over 100 new jobs with project partners in the next ten years. The project makes thus an important contribution to keeping production in Germany competitive.
01 July 2012 - 30 June 2016