Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A virtual factory you can feel

Date:
December 6, 2013
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Industrial processes have been mechanized, electrified and digitized. In the next step they become intelligent. However, the lines between virtual and real worlds become only slowly blurred. Researchers have now developed a miniature factory.

Industrial processes have been mechanized, electrified and digitized. In the next step they become intelligent. However, the lines between virtual and real worlds become only slowly blurred. At EuroMold in Frankfurt researchers will demonstrate leadoff Industry 4.0 applications with a miniature factory from 3 to 6 December.

Major changes to industrial plants are looming on the horizon. Customers are demanding increasingly more customized, differentiated products. Manufacturers are experiencing a fourth industrial revolution: After water, steam and electric power, electronics and IT now networked sensors and simulation are moving into the factory buildings: the products of the future know where they are, know their history, their current status and the production steps that are still pending in order to arrive at a finished product. To make this possible, virtual and real world have to mesh more intensively.

Miniature model connects digital and real world

At EuroMold researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD demonstrate how one can bridge this gap. The scientists constructed a miniature factory -- including a small robot that moves barrels. The re- searchers observed the miniature factory with a camera. With ten images per second it is constantly recording the status in the real world and transmitting these data into the virtual.

Visitors of the booth, for example, are able to plan the route for a forklift. While the virtual one moves through the continuously digitized plant hall, the system analyzes where and when a collision may arise between the forklift and a real robot. In the miniature factory, it is possible to rearrange the barrels. If the visitor sticks his hand in the path of the virtual forklift, the system immediately detects the obstruction. "This is the first step toward cyber-physical equivalency. A condition, where it is possible to switch between any real and virtual world. So far the term involves only geometric expressions. Others, such as those that include the function and behavior, are expected to follow," says Prof. Andrι Stork, head of department at Fraunhofer IGD.

Cyber-physical equivalency, Industry 4.0 -- what is exactly concealed behind this designations? "Whereas the production processes today are centrally consolidated, with Industry 4.0, each item comes furnished with artificial intelligence, be it machine, system, workpiece or tool," adds Prof. Uwe Freiherr von Lukas, who heads the Rostock, Germany location of the Institute. In everyday terms, that means machines and robots mutually exchange information, make their own decisions and manage themselves -- in conjunction with the participating human beings.

Manufacture low-volume production and customized products cost-effectively

This "new" industry should secure the position of Germany and Europe as location for industry. While Asia leads in mass production by a nose, Europe's future lies in the product- ion of customized pieces and low volume production. And this is precisely what flexible Industry 4.0 is intended to do: production lines can be redesigned and adapted so quickly that even low-volume production and customized products can be manufactured cost- effectively. Until now, business operations merely use the path from virtual to real: They plan and optimize the production lines on the computer, and then transmit them into reality. The return trip is only made rarely if at all. If something changes in the production process, this is only transferred to the virtual system on a case-by-case basis. "At EuroMold our miniature factory shows, that this might take a different course already today," says Freiherr von Lukas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "A virtual factory you can feel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131206091419.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2013, December 6). A virtual factory you can feel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131206091419.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "A virtual factory you can feel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131206091419.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) — Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins