PassForM

With a share of 50 % in production time and 20 % in production costs, assembly represents an important manufacturing process. Therefore, a flexibility increase of assembly processes is accompanied by economic potential regarding cost reduction, better product quality and increased responsiveness to market changes, leading to higher profitability and rising competitiveness.

In order to minimize non-reusable, product-specific equipment as well as reducing recurring investments, a modular and flexible assembly station based on a process-oriented system development is required. Since many assemblies are still manufactured manually, increasing process efficiency while maintaining flexibility is important and requires a stepwise automation of assembly processes.

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Customize assembly workstations.
Flexible and easy

The PassForM project develops a novel and hybrid assembly system in order to achieve a reconfigurability with modularity. This enables a demand-oriented change between manual, hybrid and automated assembly at the level of logical function modules. In order to generate product independence, stations are equipped with intelligent modules such as material supply, conveyor and robot modules. This allows an increase in the degree of assembly automation and its adaptation to demand and the market. The aim is to unite the opposing requirements of productivity and flexibility in the medium-volume assembly sector. The project thus fills the gap between manual and highly automated processes.

Project elements

Modules extend the system with the features that are acutely necessary. Guide rails, simple plug-in mechanisms and innovative interlocks allow complex functions to be replaced quickly.

A digital twin mirros the system with its various modules. It collects all the information and properties of the assembly workstation. This makes it possible to see at any time whether the system is well equipped for the next part or whether modules need to be changed.

An intuitive user interface allows personnel to interact directly with the system. Decentralized planning, optimization and processing of sub-processes takes place via the digital twin. Persons can see which steps should be performed next and which movements the system will perform itself.

A special software architecture provides the interface between the modules and assembly stations. It combines the digital twins of the modules with a semantic process/resource representation and an algorithm for resource requests.