Our Research Focus

In cooperation with various research institutions, foundations and industrial partners, we investigate the fundamental organisational 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 optimise their production processes in a practice-oriented manner. Our research focuses on factory planning, production management and production design and work organisation. 

  • 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 entities over its entire life cycle, with a particular focus on the processes for factory planning in all planning cases.

    Research Goal

    The research goal of the factory planning group is to lead the factory planning process in all its planning cases to a reproducible result. The later effects of planning decisions on the economic efficiency and productivity of the factory are also to be modelled qualitatively and quantitatively.

    Procedure for Achieving the Research Goal

    In order to realise our research goal, we first develop description and action models for a comprehensive understanding of the factory system and its mode of operation. 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 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 logistics models developed at the IFA. Innovative new technologies and approaches are also constantly reviewed 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.

    Research Strategy of the Factory Planning Group

    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 goal 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 goal, 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.

    Research Strategy of the Production Management Group

    To the Production Management Group

  • Production Design and Work Organisation

    Research Object

    Our research focuses on the work system with its inherent processes and socio-technical elements and their interaction within the production network. This includes in particular work organization, workplace and production structure design, internal material provision as well as competence and personnel development in the age of digitalization.

    Research Goal

    The research goal of the production design and work organisation group is to describe the interaction of people, technology, information and organization and to design sustainable structures on the shopfloor. Sustainability is characterized by robustness, changeability, efficiency and performance-enhancing economic, ecological and social aspects.

    Procedure for Achieving the Research Goal

    In order to achieve our research objective, 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 these are then determined.

    Based on this, decision models are developed, on the basis of which specific recommendations for action can be given with regard to the selection of existing design measures, as well as new design measures to be researched. Finally, the findings will be used to generate generally applicable design rules. With their help, the social, technical, informational and organizational components of a work system can be sustainably designed and developed.

    Research Strategy of the Production Design and Work Organisation Group

    To the Production and Work Design Group