ENTIME - Design Methods for Intelligent Mechatronics

The research project „Design methods for intelligent Mechatronics“ (ENTIME) aims at improving the innovation power of modern mechanical engineering. This can be achieved on the one hand by developing a domain-spanning design method and on the other hand, by using Semantic Web technology for an effective exchange of solution knowledge in the value added chains.

In the development of mechatronic systems, proven solution elements are applied to a high degree. These are components like machine elements, which are offered by suppliers via catalogues or the internet. The main barrier for innovations is, that design engineers in companies typically use already familiar solution elements. By using Semantic Web technology, the exclusive focus on familiar solution elements is expected to be avoided. Furthermore, a domain-spanning design technique is developed in the research project. This design technique includes the domains mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, control engineering and software engineering. This also enables the creation of innovative solution elements for the application in modern mechanical engineering.

The design process of intelligent mechatronic systems can be subdivided into domain-spanning conceptual design and domain-specific concretization. In the conceptual design phase proven solution knowledge, in form of solution patterns, is required for realizating the required system functionality. Solution patterns describes a recurring problem and the core of a solution to that problem. Solution patterns are synthesized to the product concept and subsequently validated. Validation occurs model-based, meaning that idealized simulation- capable models are assigned to the solution patterns. Within the concretization phase the solution patterns are substituted by solution elements. These are linked to detailed models with concrete parameter characteristics. The central point of this knowledge- and model-based design process is the search for solution patterns and solution elements. Hence, processing terminology-independent semantic of the solution knowledge is in the focus of ENTIME. The aim of the solution knowledge semantic is to select solution patterns and solution elements on the basis of a domain-spanning specification.

The project ENTIME is funded with € 4.3 Mill. by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany and the EUROPEAN UNION, European Regional Development Fund, “Investing in your future”. The results of the first two years show that the design technique and the perspectives offered by the Semantic Web indeed improve the development process. The project is carried out by the Heinz Nixdorf Institute, represented by Professors J. Gausemeier, W. Schäfer and A. Trächtler, in close cooperation with nine local companies. Therefore, the project is going to strengthen the innovation power of the key industry mechanical engineering. Additionally, it is going to open up new distribution channels for local companies.

NRW Ziel 2-Program

In the year 2007 a new sponsorship period of the “NRW Ziel 2“-Program has begun. The project pursues three aims:

  1. Middle-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs should become stronger and more active than before.
  2. Cities and regions should become more attractive and worth living.
  3. The innovation willingness and innovation capability are supposed to improve all over the country.

In the centre of the work forward-looking technologies and services, unusual co-operations or new approaches between science research and economics can be found. In relevant competitions of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the Heinz Nixdorf Institute won three projects.


Contact person

Stefan Dziwok

Zukunftsmeile 1
33102 Paderborn

Telephone: +49 5251 60-3323
E-Mail:      stefan.dziwok@upb.de
Room:      02-06