Integrative Production System Planning

Considering production system planning an integral part of the product development process

In our publicized 3-cycles-model of the product development, the planning of a production system (resp. manufacturing system) is described as an assignment with cycles. The starting point for the production system planning is the “conceptual designand not the completely defined product because the development of the production system must be done concurrently to the development of the product. This is especially valid for complex products, such as mechatronic products which are distinguished by the integration of mechanical and electronic components in close spaces. There the conceptual design of the product is already determined by the manufacturing technology.

In many places, today´s planning of the production system is computer-based. In this context the digital factory and the virtual production are well established terms. These include the understanding of the construction and the analysis of complicated computer-modelled manufacturing systems. The available IT-tools have been developing tremendously fast in the last couple of years. They make modelling possible in almost all the aspects of a modern manufacturing system. Nevertheless these IT-Systems can deploy their effects only when the planning of the production system follows a systematic process.

Reference model of a production planning specification

Considering the above, we see the necessity for an enfolding specification for the integrative development of the product and the production system. For the latter we propose a reference model that displays three dimensions:

Abstraction / Concretization: This is the usual way for the development of specification. Frequently a concrete solution is abstracted to obtain a base that helps to find a better solution.

Levels of planning: These determine the planning objective.  In every level we consciously mention synonyms, to make the understanding easier.

Views: We use the classical three views on a technical system, structure behaviour and shape which were established in the so called Y-model, used in the design of microelectronic systems.

Planning space for the process planning and for the production system planning

These three dimensions generate the planning space. The planning of a specific production system can be considered as a sequence of planning steps within this space. In the process every step is supported by methods and corresponding tools. For the specification of the input and output information, specification techniques are necessary. This general reference model helps to order the variety of methods, tools and specification techniques in the context of the digital factory/ virtual production.

Specification of a complex production system

Within the cycle of production system development there are four main tasks to substantiate: process planning, shop floor planning, production logistics and production resource planning. Therefore it is a decisive requirement for the communication and cooperation between the involved specialists, to have an integrative specification for the conceptual design of the product and the conceptual design of the production system. These partial models (computer internal model representations of the processed aspects and partial aspects) are used to integrate a coherent system of partial models.

The challenge: Information Management

An efficient information management builds the foundation for a specification of the production system development. It allows computer internal model representations and a persistent reproduction of coherent systems of partial models for the product and production system deve-lopment. In the Collaborative Research Centre Transregio 30,“Integrative process for the production of functional gradation on structures by the use of linked thermo-mechanic phenomenas”, we establish a procedure, which furnishes detailed specifications of the required production system by using the mechanical description of the part with graded properties.

Our competences and services

  • Integrative development of a product and production system
  • Planning, simulation and optimization of complex production systems
  • Analysis, configuration and optimization of factory layouts and work stations
  • Reorganisation of manufacturing processes