Research Focuses

Our Research Focuses

In cooperation with various research institutions, foundations and industrial partners, we investigate the fundamental organizational and logistical principles of industrial production facilities. Our basic research is predominantly funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). In application-oriented research, we carry out projects with various research sponsors and funding instruments. In this area in particular, we are always looking for interested partners from industry who would like to work with us to optimize their production processes in a practice-oriented manner. Our research focuses on factory planning, production management and production and work design. 

  • Factory Planning

    Research Object

    The research object of the Factory Planning Group is the factory in its global environment. The factory is described by its factory objects over the entire life cycle, with a particular focus on the processes for planning factories in all planning cases.

    Research Goal

    The research objective of the Factory Planning group is to lead the factory planning process to a reproducible result in all its planning cases. The subsequent effects of planning decisions on the profitability and productivity of the factory are also to be modelled qualitatively and quantitatively.

    Procedure for Achieving the Research Objective

    In order to realize our research goal, we first develop description and effect models for a comprehensive understanding of the factory system and its functionality. On this basis, decision models are developed for reproducible planning and evaluation of the quality of a factory. The holistic qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the factory requires, among other things, the use of parameters of economic efficiency (costs) and productivity (performance) as well as the other target fields of factory planning (e.g. transparency, communication, adaptability or material flow orientation). For this purpose, as one of various building blocks, production and business management models are used, including the logistic models developed at the IFA. Innovative, new technologies and approaches are also constantly checked for their applicability in factory planning. The knowledge gained in this way is condensed by the development of process models into a reproducible, application-oriented process for the planning and evaluation of factories.

    To the Factory Planning Group

  • Production Management

    Research Object

    Object of research are, besides the process elements of supply chains which are described by storage stages, manufacturing, assembly and transport processes as well as convergence points, the processes and tasks of production planning and control (PPC). The object of research is supplemented by cross-company processes, such as those found in logistics networks.

    Research Goal

    The research objective of the Production Management group is to calculate the achievable logistics performance and the logistics costs incurred for any supply chain configuration on the basis of models in order to enable a target-oriented design of the supply chains.

    Procedure for Achieving the Research Goal

    In order to achieve the research objective, the first step is to develop a model-based representation of internal supply chains, i.e. from procurement to production to distribution. In this context, description, effect and decision models are developed. On the one hand, these models represent the dependencies of logistic control variables with the logistic target variables. On the other hand, the influence of logistic manipulated and controlled variables is influenced by structural logistic measures (e.g. change of the production structure or the procedures of PPS) or by dispositive logistic measures (e.g. different parameter settings in the PPS system). In the long term, the consideration will be extended to cause-effect relationships in cross-company networks.

    To the Production Management Group

  • Production and Work Design

    Research Object

    Our research focus is the working system with its inherent processes as well as socio-technical elements and their interaction in the production network. This includes, in particular, work organization, workplace and assembly structure design, internal material provision as well as competence and personnel development.

    Research Goal

    The research objective of the PAG Group is to derive design rules for the development and interaction of people, technology, information and organisation in order to create robust, adaptable, efficient and performance-enhancing structures on the shop floor.

    Procedure for Achieving the Research Goal

    In order to achieve our research goal, we first identify and describe the relevant factors influencing the design fields of people, technology, information and organization at the work system level. The existing interactions between them are then determined. Based on this, decision models will be developed, on the basis of which specific recommendations for action can be given with regard to the selection of existing but also of new to be researched design measures. Finally, it is necessary to generate generally applicable design rules from the knowledge gained. With their help, the social and technical components of a work system can be designed and developed in a robust, adaptable, efficient and performance-enhancing way.

    To the Production and Work Design Group