Planning Changeable Factories

© Fraunhofer IPA / Emir Cuk

Are you planning to expand production or build a new factory hall? Do you want to reassess established structures in your factory and manufacture your goods in an optimum way in the future?

How can factories be designed so that they can be adapted in line with major changes in requirements in the future without having to spend huge amounts of time or money? What degree of changeability do I need?

While flexibility refers to the ability of a production facility to react to fluctuations at short notice, the term changeability also refers to a structural change in the factory system whereby the entire flexibility range is shifted. As an extension to the VDI Guideline 5200 on factory planning, Fraunhofer IPA has developed a practical procedure for planning changeable factories:

  • By setting of objectives, we address the strategic requirements of your factory planning project and identify change drivers.
  • We carry out a focused analysis of your factory to determine the basic planning requirements, identify the “monuments” in your factory and evaluate production processes as change enablers with an extended value stream analysis.
  • In ideal planning, we develop a modular factory concept together with your employees.
  • In the real planning phase, we design a factory that is optimally adapted to your needs and the given boundary conditions.

A cost-benefit analysis clarifies the monetary and qualitative criteria of the decision-making process. Changeability is then validated in transformation scenarios. At the end of the project, you obtain reliable information about the degree of changeability you need for your factory that makes economic sense. Individual decisions concerning technologies and enterprise resources can thus be correctly evaluated in the overall context.


A methodically validated factory planning concept gives you the following advantages:

  • Factory capacity aligned with defined factory targets
  • Conflicting aims solved through solution-based collaboration with our planning experts
  • The benefit of our broad planning experience
  • Reliable planning results validated through our methodical approach, thus avoiding the risk of planning errors
  • Integration of our cross-sectoral knowledge of factory structures and production processes
  • Consideration of complex factory features, such as changeability, expandability, transparency, and cost-effectiveness


Value stream-based factory planning at TRACOE medical GmbH

When planning a new factory, TRACOE medical GmbH collaborated with Fraunhofer IPA to develop sustainable factory structures and processes.


Structuring production and optimizing of the area-productivity rate at Diehl Aerospace

To create space for offices, Diehl Aerospace is planning to concentrate its production area into two floors instead of three. As part of a project with Fraunhofer IPA, a changeable and compact factory concept based on lean production methods was developed.