Project formats

Our experts at Fraunhofer IPA use the following project formats to address specific problems:

Development Projects#

Technologies are developed jointly and made usable for your production operations.

  • #

    Your needs:
    Do you want to define your innovation strategy, are you looking for innovative approaches or are you aiming to restructure your factory? One example could be automating production processes, which also take digitalization concepts into account.

    Our approach:
    Experts from Fraunhofer IPA visit your company and assess the current situation. In a workshop with your employees, we work out elements of your future (technology) strategy and draw up an innovation-oriented development roadmap. Your company profits from the wide-ranging activities and experience of Fraunhofer IPA and its partners. We bring expertise gained through numerous innovation projects and a forward-looking perspective to the workshop.

    Result:
    We compile a personalized catalog of recommendations for action describing innovative production processes and how they can be introduced into your company.  Further steps, such as a technical Analysis of Potential  or Concept & Process Development, can follow on from this.

  • #

    Your needs:
    Do you want to identify technological trends early on and need an overview as well as an initial assessment of your technological options? Are you looking for concrete suggestions for innovative processes in your factory?

    Our approach:
    Experts from Fraunhofer IPA come to your company. Together, we work out your requirements and agree on search areas.

    Technology scouting: Through research, interviews with experts, and by monitoring technology, we identify new manufacturing concepts and processes worthy of consideration. The ideas are collected and compared with your requirements.

    Process studies: We identify innovative production processes that are suitable for your application and assess their potential.

    Result:
    You benefit from the trained eye of our experts for innovation content and future viability.
    You receive a personalized report on the availability, suitability and prospects of new technologies, or a report that identifies the processes and assesses their potential for your application.

    Both approaches offer greater security and lower implementation costs, as well as a faster ROI. This phase is typically followed by Concept & Process Development. Depending on the situation, it may make sense to carry out an Analysis of Potential beforehand.

  • #

    Your needs:
    Do you want to introduce new technologies in your factory, either in a single value-adding step or in a complete production chain? Do you want to improve assembly processes, for example, or empower your employees to manufacture better or new products with innovative worker support? Or you are considering introducing automation technologies and need answers to lots of questions?

    Our approach:
    Our experts develop the technical concept and the innovative process for you, refine them with the users in your factory, and sum up both the technological potential and economic aspects for you. Depending on the application, the concept might have to be verified by a Feasibility Study in order to complete the process development based on this.

    Result:
    Your company can make decisions based on the proven concept and analysis and is in an ideal position to implement new technologies and processes.

    Reference:

    • Ergonomic and automation concepts for wheel “hotels”
    • Conception of a flexible gear assembly system in the early product development phase
  • #

    Your needs:
    Was the technical concept or process developed in advance? Does its feasibility now need to be examined?

    Our approach:
    The feasibility study highlights all aspects of the targeted production process, such as the technology, its integration into production workflows, costs, and future viability. When automating processes and sequences, feasibility studies are indispensable. They minimize the risks associated with technical developments and give you the certainty you need to make decisions about upcoming investments.

    Result:
    You receive a report on the feasibility of the process as well as the general constraints. We list the necessary measures and make recommendations for their successful implementation.

    Reference:

  • #

    Your needs:
    Are you looking to put preliminary developments or innovative approaches into practice for the first time in the form of technical prototypes or an MVP (minimum viable product)?

    Our approach:
    Together with your company, experts from Fraunhofer IPA define the start, goal, and requirements of the prototype. The prototype is jointly designed and built and tested to assess whether it meets requirements or if it needs to be further developed. The necessary work can be carried out in the laboratories and testing facilities at Fraunhofer IPA or on your company premises.

    Result:
    You receive the working prototype as well as an evaluation report on the tests carried out. You profit from the infrastructure at Fraunhofer IPA, such as testing equipment and the wide-ranging skills of its experts. Experience gained from other research and transfer projects automatically flows into the project process and minimizes your development risk.

    Reference:
    Modular systems for cleaning robots

  • #

    Your needs:
    The Concept for your new technologies and processes is set up and Feasibility has been generally confirmed. You need help to procure the necessary innovative components (machine parts, hardware, and software - up to complete systems) from the market.

    Our approach:
    In a neutral manner and independently of potential suppliers, our experts draw up a specification sheet that describes and specifies in detail the technically correct function. The focus is particularly on components with an innovative character and their integration into a functioning overall system.

    Result:
    You receive a specification sheet, which - supplemented by company-specific standards and requirements - ensures that your company can obtain reliable and comparable offers on the market. Fraunhofer IPA helps you evaluate the offers, for example to reduce risks at technological interfaces. We pay particular attention to how the innovative aspects are presented in the incoming tenders.

    Procedure:
    Specification sheets and requirement profiles for robotics and automation

  • #

    Your needs:
    Are you looking for neutral and expert support to help you implement innovation projects in your value creation processes?

    Our approach:
    Our experts supervise the introduction of innovations (installation of new systems, commissioning of complex automation solutions or similar) at your site and provide assistance during the installation or commissioning phases. Together with you, we make sure that the bought-in services meet your requirements in terms of both innovation and function.

    Result:
    Faster and smoother implementation of innovations in your manufacturing environment. Fraunhofer IPA uses the tools at its disposal to help you get highly innovative systems up and running.

    Reference:
    Autonomous navigation for “STR” in intralogistics at the BMW Group

Optimization Projects#

We optimize products, technologies, and manufacturing processes in terms of costs, quality, and output.

  • #

    Your needs:
    Are you committed to improving processes or introducing new manufacturing technologies? The associated potential must be ascertained and evaluated. For example, productivity can be boosted through automation or by implementing digitalization concepts.

    Our approach:
    We take a close look at your manufacturing environment, identify technologies, and analyze their potential in terms of feasibility and costs/benefits. The analysis is broadly based, meaning that aspects such as the ability to integrate the technology and its future viability are also examined.

    Result:
    You receive an analysis report containing details on the technologies, their suitability and anticipated technical potential. The report may also contain a list of measures, estimated benefits, possible quick wins, complexity, risks involved and an estimate of investment and operating costs.

    Our course of action:
    Analysis of the potential to automate assembly processes

  • #

    Your needs:
    Do you already have an idea of how you want to use technologies (such as AI or 5G) for your company? Are you looking for dedicated professionals to help you now and in the future? The Quick Check is a short and compact project format.

    Our approach:
    The Quick Check serves as proof of concept or feasibility analysis - a shorter version of the Feasibility Study. Assuring feasibility is indispensable when it comes to automating processes and sequences. It minimizes the risks associated with technical developments and gives you the security you need to make decisions about upcoming investments.

    Result:
    We find out whether your production issue can be solved with the technology you want to use (for example, machine learning). Together with the experts from Fraunhofer IPA, you can try out your application idea in an Exploring Project.

    Reference:

    List of Quick Checks at the KI Fortschrittszentrum (AI progress center)

    Sensor technology helps optimize assembly

  • #

    Your needs:
    Would you like to implement the ideas you have developed within the scope of a feasibility study or in a quick check and test them in a prototype application?

    Our approach:
    The feasibility results from the Quick Check form the basis of an Exploring Project. In a short time, we work out an implementation strategy and realize an initial prototype solution - for example from the field of digitalization or AI. In a further step, we analyze these strategies and scale them for transfer.

    Result:
    The results can then be further investigated directly in your company or in a continuation of the joint collaboration.

    Reference:
    List of Exploring Projects at the Center for Cyber Cognitive Intelligence

  • #

    Your needs:
    Do you want to increase productivity and quality in your factory and reduce waste? To achieve this, you need to bring your production planning methods up to date and optimize your production processes.

    Our approach:
    Production: our experts analyze the current situation and develop an ideal scenario. Taking given constraints into account, we derive a target scenario and draw up an implementation plan with specific measures.

    Assembly: we identify concrete solutions on site and describe the necessary measures. If desired, our experts can help you implement them.

    Result:
    You safeguard the basis of your economic success. Based on the latest scientific findings, you receive comprehensive support covering all aspects of production planning and production optimization.

    Reference:

  • #

    Your needs:
    Would you like to cut costs for warehousing, production, logistics, organization, quality and maintenance through digital interconnectivity? Do you want to build a new line or production facility that is fully digitalized right from the start? Are you unsure about how to approach the project methodically so that it remains economical?

    Our approach:
    We provide tailored support in line with your company’s digitalization status. A maturity assessment focuses on determining the current digitalization status in order to identify areas with potential.

    The concept development phase comprises introductory workshops, developing use cases, defining a roadmap for rolling out digitalization measures, selecting projects according to costs and benefits, as well as communication within the company. Examples of measures would be to upgrade existing automation technologies, integrate sensors, generate, and use production data, as well as approaches for networked and autonomous production.

    We accompany the subsequent introduction of your digitalization measures.

    Result:
    The maturity level of your company is determined in a substantiated manner. You receive a clear roadmap for digitalizing your company, including potential for improvement and the necessary measures. We help you make your company fit for the future and ensure the smooth digitalization of your processes.

    Reference:

  • #

    Your needs:
    Your company has implemented a technology project in a production line or a factory. You are currently planning to transfer the results to other lines and sites.

    Our approach:
    Together with you, we analyze the implemented measures from a scientific perspective and systematically optimize them for roll-out elsewhere, for example by defining company-specific site roles and improving product design, structuring assembly plans or even transferring automation solutions or digital infrastructure concepts. A site or project could conceivably be singled out as a lighthouse.

    Result:
    Consistent and cost-effective transfer or multiplication of innovations in your organization. A lighthouse radiates appeal, serving as a motivation and a good example within your company, and, if desired, without.

    Reference:

Specific project formats#

Examples of further project formats tailored to your individual needs:

  • #

    Your needs:
    You need a partner who takes responsibility for executing sensitive technology projects with a high degree of innovation and brings them to fruition together with you.
    Examples of this would be the introduction of comprehensive automation solutions or complex projects in the optics industry.

    Our approach:
    You work with a partner who fully understands the complexity of your new technology or even incorporates elements of it in your project. We can perform the necessary contract work for you, or the core of your new technology. We can also take over the coordination and project management for other directly related work. We also take over commissioning and instruct your members of staff.

    Result:
    Your investment is transferred to your company exactly as required, your employees are inspired by the innovations, and everyone involved is included in the accompanying changes.

  • #

    Your needs:
    Do you have a problem that you are unable to solve on your own at the moment? Are you looking for like-minded partners with whom you can drive innovation for your company and exchange ideas? Do you always want to be at the cutting edge of technology? Do you want to strengthen your market position and improve cooperation with your customers and suppliers?

    Our approach:
    As a member of a network led by Fraunhofer IPA, you have the opportunity to establish partnerships with technology firms and developers. You learn first-hand about the latest trends and future technologies. Together with other partners, we identify innovative concepts, implement them in pilot applications and document each step to ensure their smooth transfer to your products or production process.

    There are three types of consortia:

    • a development in working groups
    • a consortium project within a circle of similar partners
    • a consortium among partners in a supply chain

    Result:
    You benefit from a powerful network which gives you the opportunity to experience technologies and innovations, actively participate in shaping them, as well as to try them out and tailor them to your requirements. You successfully consolidate your market position and introduce new technologies into your company.

    Project examples:

  • #

    Your needs:
    Do you need to innovate and are looking for a reliable partner for a long-term development cooperation? Do you want the market and your workers to see you as an innovation driver?

    Our approach:
    The Enterprise Lab is a long-term cooperation in which several R&D aspects are studied in parallel. Findings from current research are transferred directly into practice. You can work methodically on strategic topics outside your own corporate structures. The focus is on your future value creation requirements. A steering committee consisting of representatives from your company and Fraunhofer IPA monitors the progress of the projects in terms of content and financial limits. In the steering committee, agile measures are defined, or new projects initialized. The cooperation runs for 3 to 5 years; the annual investment volume is generally determined at the beginning of the cooperation.

    Result:
    The projects in the Enterprise Lab profit from a long-term and trusting collaboration in a well-coordinated project team made up of the Fraunhofer IPA experts and your employees. Costs related to contractual modalities and learning the ropes are lower thanks to the fixed contract structure. Your company benefits from a constant input of expertise, enabling it to be sustainably well-positioned in the future.

    Reference:
    TRUMPF and Fraunhofer IPA bring Artificial Intelligence to industrial maturity