Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ludger Overmeyer

Managing partner & Spokesperson of Management
+49 (0)511 279 76-119


This paper describes methods and solutions for transferring cognitive abilities such as recognition, communication, orientation, learning and planning to transport systems. The implementation of these abilities is carried out by means of optical technologies as shown in application examples. Small scalable conveyor modules can be applied in the field of warehousing to specific nodes of the material handling system to enhance the spectrum of feasible logistic operations, as well as to increase the overall system flexibility. 3D camera systems integrated in the forks of an industrial truck can acquire an image of the front end of the forks. Custom algorithms then detect the position of pallets and storage locations. Thus, assistance can be given during the loading/unloading procedure. Additionally, the vehicle determines its position using optically networked beacons. Positioning enables tracking and tracing of loading units and on-board navigation. Cognitive abilities, supported by optical technologies, can be transferred to other aspects of transport systems. Decentralized networking modules allow a continuous information flow between distinct transport systems. Thus, other cognitive abilities such as decentralized routing of products can be effectively

cognitive transportsystem, optical technology, optical position determination

Logistics is an essential part of the value chain. Therefore, sustainable logistics systems are a decisive competitive and success factor for companies. Through individual customer requirements, shorter innovation cycles and an increasing variety of product types, the requirements have become increasingly complex in the material handling engineering sectors. To meet these requirements and to allow a continuous increase in efficiency of logistics systems, the development of innovative systems is necessary. A key to the design of such systems is the use of optical technologies. Using a simplified scenario the possibilities of optical technologies in intralogistics are represented in this paper.

materials handling, optical communication, optics, intralogistics

In the research project ISI-WALK methods and technologies for the efficient design and economical operation of supply chains have been developed. These methods and technologies are helping to enable logistic systems to adept to different materials and information flows. On the basis of the the human cognitive abilities and the resulting high mutability logistic systems shall be enabled to recognize their surroundings, to communicate relevant information and to learn or plan autonomously. The technical results are divided into four sub-goals: a system based on 3D camera technology assistance system for trucks, a system for optical position detection in industrial environments, a versatile coordinate-based warehouse management system and a method for planning and evaluation of the major driving forces. The research project was funded within the framework concept "Research for the industry of tomorrow" by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

optical positioning, active infrastructure, data transmission, signal processing, image processing

A central control of automated guided vehicle systems (AGVS) doesn’t longer satisfy the require-ments of a versatile production. With procedures from the field of artificial intelligence a control can be decentralized and made more flexible. In this way the tasks of the central control can be distributed to different entities in the system. Thus the complexity of the tasks is reduced. The present article deals with the decentralization of the AGVS control and focuses on the order allocation, route finding and conflict resolution.

agv, decentralzied control, automated guided vehicles

Indoor positioning is an enabling technology for advanced intra-logistic applications that employ tracking and tracing of goods and vehicles. For these applications, a positioning technology must otTer a sufficient trade-off between accuracy, range, and costs. In this paper we present a novel positioning system based on optical technologies that is designed for tracing vehicles in a logistic environment. The major innovations of the system are an active optical infrastructure allowing absolute positioning without any other data source, and, on the receiver side, a hybrid data processing approach that combines signal and image processing. Using these optical technologies, a high accuracy can be achieved at lower costs compared to other approaches. The static positioning error is below 0.1 m. The active optical positioning approach joins signal and image processing technologies to a low-cost and high accuracy system. While designed for intra-logistic applications the technology can be adopted other fields such as building and shop-floor navigation.

active infrastructure, data transmission, signal processing, image processing

This paper presents the development of methods and rules for an automated CAD model building and cost calculation of tools. Starting with the strip layout of the product to be manufactured, tool models are configured and their components linked to production processes and cost data. By using artificial intelligence algorithms, the experience of the employees is taken into account for tender preparation.

tool making, tool shop, quotation costing, data mining, expert system

For a systematic complaint handling the 8D method has been established. However, so far there are no adequate measurement and evaluation techniques to assess the quality of an 8D report. As a consequence it can not be guaranteed at any time that the complaint processing is carried out correctly and efficiently. In a research project of the FQS, the Institute of Metal Forming (IFUM) and the IPH - Institute of Integrated Production gGmbH an automated metric system for measuring and evaluating the quality of 8D reports was developed. To determine the metrics algorithms are used for text mining. Also manual reviews are used to realize the required range of reviews efficiently and reliably.

8d-report, claims management, complaint, quality management

Thin diamond cutting discs help to increase efficiency in the production of slabs and tiles out of natural stone. The reduced stiffness of the discs, however, may lead to higher tool deflection and reduced cutting quality. This can be compensated by using higher cutting speeds. So far, such an intervention needs to be supervised by an operator. For ergonomic and economic reasons this is not an option for the industry. Up to now, no system able to monitor the tool vibrations near the source during the cutting process exists. On this account, such a system has been developed. Due to the integration of piezoelectric elements in the grinding tool, the vibrations can be measured right at the source. This ensures the high accuracy of the measuring process. The measured data will be transmitted wirelessly to a computer evaluating the results. Cutting tests show that the sensor integrated tool is able to monitor the tool vibration during the grinding process. This paper describes the sensorintegrated grinding tool and shows the results of cutting tests.

cutting disc, monitoring, grinding, granite

To produce slabs and tiles out of natural stone abrasive cutting with circular tools is of primary importance compared to gang or rope saws. To improve the economy and ecology of abrasive cutting processes various approaches exist, such as the reduction of the tool width or the increase of the material removal rate via creep-feed grinding. Those approaches reach their limits due to tool deflection. Knowledge of the tool behavior within the process can improve the profitability of the grinding process. This information can be gained with the help of a tool monitoring system. The paper describes an approach to monitor the axial tool vibrations throughout the grinding process.

grinding process, abrasive cutting, processing quality, grinding-performance, material removal

In the past, scientific analysis of development and production of large-scale products has not been conducted very often. In the joint project „Innovations for the production of large-scale products“, sponsered by two German ministries in the state of lower saxony, IPH – Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gemeinnützige GmbH will make a contribution to reply scientific questions in consideration of development, production and recycling of large-scale products.

xxl-products, development, manufacturing, recycling

The quality of molded products and production cycle times are influenced by mold temperature control systems. Today experienced technical designers are developing form-fitting temperature control systems manually. Afterwards they analyzes the systems in iterative and experimental simulations. Here, a method for automatic design of mold temperature control systems is presented. The method uses nature-inspired algorithms, which improve the economical benefit of the construction process and the injection molding process.

injection molding, conformal cooling systems, design, nature-inspired algorithms

Production downtimes and maintenance costs affect the choice of an economic maintenance strategy. Predictive maintenance of machines promises a solution for both interests, when machine conditions can be predicted. The digital machine file supports this task by a combination of data exchange and artificial intelligence.

condition monitoring, artificial intelligence

In the project "Increase of maintenance quality through machine-specific information on the example of paper and print finishing" researchers developed methods for an improved maintenance quality by using a predictive strategy. The developed methods combine the exchange of data related to the maintenance with analysis of this data with the help of artificial intelligence. This ensures that the companies that are involved in the lifecycle of a machine gain additional information, for example about the current degree of wear of a unit.

maintenance, data mining

Manufacturing companies are now more than ever surrounded by a turbulent market environment. At the same time, the importance of networks and value-added networks. In theory and practice over and above the classical flexibility beyond mutability is seen as a precondition to be able to survive in this environment. Unfortunately, many companies are contrary to a number of technological and organizational change barriers in achieving versatile factory and network structures. This article gives an overview of the state of research and the development needs of the mutability of supply chains. In addition, requirements and potential solutions are presented, by what technologies and methods in the future the versatility can be improved and conversion barriers can be dismantled. The conversion-design of transport, storage and IT systems as well as planning and evaluation of the adaptability in supply chains are described mainly.

mutability, supply, factory and network structures, technological and organizational change barriers

The trend for automated guided vehicles (AGV) is heading from a central control to decentralization. The term of agents is becoming more important in this context. Here, software agents are used that are not related to secret service or insurances. Software agents are autonomous units that independently decide on their own, with the use of predefined rules. Thus, a decentralized control is built. Current decentralized solutions are not continuously decentralized. Vehicles share a common topology or are controlled by a central station. Together with the "OFFIS - Institut für Informatik" researchers from the IPH develop an overall concept for a decentralized self-regulated AGV.

agv, decentralzied control, automated guided vehicles

Function based structures for cost estimating. The complexity and the unique character of tool and mould constructions are the reasons why the calculation during the offer phase of the moulds and tools are using customer requirements and insufficient product information as a basis. For this purpose an increasing number of commercial software packages are used. Nevertheless, the support for the calculation is still inadequate. The IPH develops a method which allows a precise, transparent and with little effort achievable estimation for an offer on the basis of tool functions and the knowledge about already produced tools in a company.

function-based method, tender preparation, injection molding

The planning and configuration of cyclically interlinked production systems, which are for example used for assembly of electric motors, is often carried out under great time pressure in the bidding phase. Data mining methods allow a high time saving approach in tender preparation. Based on this technology, the IPH developed a software to shorten the planning time and to improve the planning results.

interlinked production systems, planning, characteristic curves, data mining

This paper presents the application of radio frequency identification (RFID) as an electronic authenticity certificate for pharmaceutical packaging along the pharmaceutical supply chain. It focuses on the one hand on the assurance of the supply chain to protect against plagiarism and on the other hand on the production of an electronically secured packaging. In order to realize a secured packaging, a RFID-transponder is integrated in the folded box. The data saved on the RFID-chip is inseparably connected with the folded box.

product protection, rfid, identification technologies, folding boxes, antenna printing

Increasingly, purchasing decisions for equipment are determined by the offered service and suppliers are changed in order to dissatisfaction with the service. But service quality and efficiency can already be increased in the hotline of the manufacturer. Two research institutes in Hannover are currently developing a software system based on semantic similarity search of service cases.

semantic search, similarity search, service

During the utilization phase, sheet fabricating tools cause up to 70% of their own life cycle costs. In general, they may now be procured only on the basis of their purchase price. IPH - Institute of Integrated Production Hannover gGmbH has developed a method which can predict and consider the life cycle costs based on knowledge of these tools during the planning process.

calculation, life cycle costs, tool manufacturing