Sheet Metal Processing of the Future

© Fraunhofer IPA

Fundamental research on Industrie 4.0

In the summer of 2015, TRUMPF – an international leading company which manufactures machine tools for flexible sheet metal processing as well as industrial lasers – started a five-year strategic cooperation with Fraunhofer IPA. The aim of this long-term cooperation is to anchor information gained from current research on Industrie 4.0 in sheet metal processing.

In the so-called “flexible sheet metal processing lab”, employees from TRUMPF and Fraunhofer IPA are working together to develop innovative solutions for tomorrow’s manufacturing engineering. The cooperation involves numerous facets of the factory of the future.

In the first starter projects, the following topics will be addressed:

  • CPS intralogistics
  • Service-based machines
  • Autonomous production

The topics will be further developed over the course of the cooperation, with the result that new project themes will be added at regular intervals.

TRUMPF sees developments in Industrie 4.0 as a major opportunity. For some years now, it has been actively involved in shaping the networked production of the future. The company therefore participates in various work groups and projects to contribute its know-how and ideas. For example, TRUMPF has been a member of the Industrie 4.0 work group initiated by the German government since 2011, playing a significant role in defining the smart factory of the future. In addition, the mechanical engineering company is actively involved in the work group “Smart Service Welt” and is also a partner of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research “CyProS” project, Smart Data Innovation Lab and Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Ever since the 90s, Fraunhofer IPA has been operating a unique learning factory for adaptable manufacturing, into which - in the age of Industrie 4.0 - diverse cyberphysical systems are integrated and networked together. Thanks to financial support from the Bundesland of Baden-Wuerttemberg and industrial project partnerships, machines, software and processes are integrated into the so-called “Application Center Industrie 4.0” and made fit for the future. The cooperation with TRUMPF also fits into this application model, benefitting from the knowledge already gained.