Services and expertise

Whatever changes take place in production: humans remain the central element in the work and production system. Digital technologies are extending the possibilities for designing human-centered production work. In addition, human-centered assistance systems can support employees not only physically but also cognitively.

At Fraunhofer IPA, the research we conduct on the production work of tomorrow covers a variety of topics. We are experts in assistance systems and are experienced in designing human-centered solutions.

Are you looking for digital technologies and methods for designing and implementing production work in your company? Then take a look at our range of services on physical, informatory and decision-making assistance systems and profit from our expertise in technology management, work system design and methods & tools in production systems.

The human being in the work and production system

  • Work tasks often involve physical strain in direct areas such as in the warehouse or on the shop floor. Various physical assistance systems, from lifting aids to exoskeletons and collaborative robots, reduce the strain on employees and make their work easier. Drawing on our wealth of research experience, we can help you design your workstations to be as ergonomic as possible. Our services include feasibility studies, the design and development of research demonstrators, as well as software-based developments and functional testing.

  • The provision of information to users is an important trend. Contextual information needs to be perceived in working environments which are becoming more and more complex. Informatory assistance systems are about providing the right information to the user at the right time and the right place. In doing so, human senses and the person’s user experience must be taken into account.

  • In a production environment, humans have to make decisions based on incomplete information all the time. With the aid of digitization and networking, important contextual information can be collected and automatically evaluated by software systems. Decision-making assistance systems can help people plan and prioritize tasks. Employees are assisted by AI and data-based systems in making complex decisions, giving them more time to focus on value-adding activities. At Fraunhofer IPA, we have longstanding experience in managing knowledge in production environments and in developing smart decision-making assistance systems.

  • Technology management

    Technology management concerns the planning, implementation and control of the development as well as the application of new technologies. With the aid of a technology radar, maturity models and technology building blocks, we assist you in reaching your goal of successful digital transformation.

    To help you implement Industrie 4.0, we focus on the aspect of autonomy in the production system. The human being acts as the conductor of processes and is efficiently supported by a responsive working environment.

    Work system design

    The interaction taking place between humans and technology in the work system is in a constant state of change. Digital work tools are breaking up old process patterns while giving rise to new design possibilities at the same time. Particularly when it comes to manual assembly, there is great potential for designing human-centered work systems and for involving experts in decision-making and innovation processes. Fraunhofer IPA stands for the design of methodical work systems with a focus on design objectives, design fields, design processes and the general conditions.

    Methods and tools

    It is impossible to imagine today's industry without Lean Production Systems. But the digital transformation poses new challenges for the designers of these systems. Industrial engineering is being extended to include digital technologies and new Lean methods. At the Competence Center Digital Tools for Production, we are researching on a framework for digital methods and tools in Lean Production System 4.0. Develop your production system further with us.