Development of an automated 3D-layout-acquisition technology to facilitate factory planning processes

Industry 4.0
Project title Development of an automated 3D-layout-acquisition technology to facilitate factory planning processes (Instant Factory Maps)
Project duration 01.01.2017 – 30.06.2019
Press release

Factory planning projects are time-consuming and complex. The data acquisition and analysis within the framework of the basic evaluation itself takes up to 50 percent of the project effort. Particularly the determination of the current factory layout with its different areas – e.g. stores, allocation, machines or functional areas – takes a lot of time since often no detailed and current layouts are available and the areas need to be measured by hand. Due to the high expenditures of time and costs, SMEs are often not interested in factory planning or the optimization of their factory layouts. Furthermore, 3D-planning can only be realized with great effort, which enables a better imagination and therefore better results.

To simplify this process, technologies are required for fast and low-cost data acquisition and analysis in the factory planning process. A drone-based automated 3D factory mapping could reduce the time and effort required to enable three-dimensional planning.

The aim of the research project is the development of an automated 2D- and 3D-layout-acquisition technology. For that purpose, a semi-autonomous UAV is to be used, to acquire 2D- or 3D-aerial images. An automated stitching or mapping algorithm can match the images together and create a scale image of the factory layout. The automation will also be able to interpret the scanned layout, e.g. detection and measurement of different functional areas. The acquired data can then directly be used for factory planning, e.g. creating digital 3D-images or physical 3D-printed images.

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  • 08.03.2018, 10:30 h - 14:30 h
  • Hollerithallee 6, 30419 Hannover
  • Seminar room, 1st floor
  • 27.06.2017
  • Seminarraum des IPH, Hollerithallee 6, 30419 Hannover

Publications about the project

Abstract: For factory planning projects the layout capturing and layout processing process need a huge amount of effort, because they are typically done by hand. These processes could be accelerated and optimized by using a drone and automated analysis algorithms. Furthermore, this article shows a way to raise the digitization level for industrial processes. The key aspect lies on the usage of a drone in indoor environment and the processing of three-dimensional point cloud models for factory planning processes.

drone, factory planning, 3D-factory layout, object recognition

Structured factory planning is a key to ensure the competitiveness concerning to the increasing pressure from globalization and the high market dynamic. Companies though avoid to do factory planning projects, because of the high effort. For this reason, the processes of factory layout capture and factory layout assessment are in need of improvement in order to increase the efficiency, which will be achieved through new technologies and a semi automation of the processes.

factory planning, drone, photgrammetry, laserscan, image data processing

Future factory planning projects are much easier and cheaper than today. With a drone it es possible to scan a factory layout during the flight in a short time. To achieve this benefits, researchers of the IPH are developing a new factory planning method.

drone, threedimensional factory layout, object recognition in point clouds, factory planning


The IGF project 19170 N of the Association for Traffic Management and Logistics (GVB) is funded via the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) in the programme of Industrial Collective Research (IGF) by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.


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