Modular Matrix Assembly

© Fraunhofer IPA / Rainer Bez
Assembly without production lines or cycle times: Fraunhofer IPA designs productive and versatile matrix assembly systems.

Today's assembly systems have to cope with huge challenges: high numbers of different products, uncertain quantity forecasts and a fluctuating mix of variants make line assembly inefficient and require highly-complex control technologies. Modular matrix assembly systems consisting of freely-interlinked stations are becoming established as a competitive, alternative assembly structure in a volatile environment.

The matrix provides new degrees of freedom when it comes to designing, planning and controlling assembly systems. Common planning methods in lean line design cannot be transferred 1-to-1 to matrix assembly. The potential of matrix production goes far beyond simply separating previously-linked stations and transferring special equipment to secondary stations. Fraunhofer IPA has developed process-oriented planning methods to design and convert your assembly system as a matrix, taking into account your specific conditions.

Analysis of the potential of matrix assembly

  • Assessing the productivity potential, evaluating profitability and estimating the investment costs of matrix assembly for a given production range and specific conditions
  • Comparing matrix assembly and conventional assembly structures (such as assembly lines, workshop assembly, single workstation assembly)
  • Verifying the suitability of products and processes for matrix assembly on the basis of use cases

Matrix assembly design

  • Planning and designing the matrix assembly system according to capacities
  • Workplace design
  • Choosing the appropriate material supply strategy, designing the logistics system for material supply and material flow, as well as selecting logistics equipment
  • Designing the planning and control logic for the matrix production system

Transformation support

  • Developing a matrix transformation roadmap
  • Devising a migration strategy, planning implementation, cardboard engineering
  • Validating the planning solution via material flow simulation
  • Start-up support

The Matrix Production System

The Matrix Production System - Producing without Assembly Lines or Cycle Times


Matrix production in flow at the Siemens AG plant in Karlsruhe

The decision to implement a new plant strategy at Siemens in Karlsruhe has brought about higher production demands. To meet these requirements, the decision was made to introduce matrix production combined with classic lean lines. The measures needed for implementation were analyzed together with an interdisciplinary team from Fraunhofer IPA.

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