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Leading Manufacturers Are Focusing on Modular Production, Advanced Analytics, Smarter Robots, and Augmented Reality DUSSELDORF, GERMANY--(Marketwired - Dec 6, 2016) - Investments in the factory of the future will pay off, and industrial companies that begin implementation today will save up to 40% of their conversion costs in ten years. To succeed, however, manufacturers have to leverage the potential of modular production concepts and new technologies, as well as optimize their processes. These are the findings of the 2016 Factory of the Future Study, conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) at RWTH Aachen University. "The factory as we know it today will change radically: assembly lines will be replaced by flexible manufacturing islands, and work pieces will communicate even more extensively with production machinery," says Daniel Küpper, a BCG partner and head of the firm's Innovation Center for Operations. More than 750 production managers from leading industrial companies worldwide took part in the study, which focused on the automotive, engineered products, and process industries. Companies in the industrial sector have already recognized the potential of transforming their factories: 74% of respondents said their company had already implemented elements of the factory of the future or planned to do so within the next five years. However, only 25% said they reached their related targets last year. To make the factory of the future a reality, companies have to invest 13% to 19% of one year's revenue across a period of ten years. Future Automotive Production Must Be Highly Flexible Particularly in the automotive industry, flexible plant structures are becoming increasingly significant. In fact, 92% of automotive participants see modular line setups as highly relevant in the factory of the future in 2030. "The growing complexity is the central challenge of production. The factory of the future will have to handle a much larger number of product variations, while at the same time increasing productivity," says Küpper. In addition, 85% of automotive respondents expect smart robots to be highly relevant in 2030, and 72% anticipate the same for big data and analytics. Sixty-five percent of automotive respondents expect augmented reality to be highly relevant, particularly in vehicle assembly. Using smart glasses, for example, employees will be guided through work processes step by step and notified of any assembly errors or safety hazards. Digital plant logistics and 3D production simulations will be key support systems in the factory of the future, enabling leaner production and faster reaction to more complex customer needs. Strategy, IT Infrastructure, and Employee Qualifications Are Key Enablers "The factory of the future belongs on the agenda of the top management. Its implementation is not just a job for production but for all functions in the company if it's to be successful," says Küpper. Most important, the factory of the future needs a powerful and secure IT infrastructure. Additionally, employee qualifications are key to the transformation agenda. However, 38% of automotive respondents see employee skills as a major challenge. Companies Can Experience the Factory of the Future BCG's Innovation Center for Operations (ICO) gives companies the opportunity to experience the factory of the future. In three model factories in Aachen, Kaiserslautern, and Stuttgart, production managers can test on site how augmented reality, human-robot interfaces, and smart logistics wearables can advance production. Learn more about BCG's Innovation Center for Operations here. A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com. To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com. About The Boston Consulting Group The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 85 offices in 48 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com. About bcgperspectives.com Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


News Article | December 9, 2015
Site: www.materialstoday.com

The Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology IPT and Laser Technology ILT, and RWTH Aachen University’s Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) have launched the International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing (ICTM) in Aachen together with 19 renowned industrial partners. The center will focus on research relating to the repair and manufacturing of turbomachines, and, according to one partner, will be used in part to research 3D printing for turbine manufacture. The industrial partners in the new network include turbine manufacturers as well as corporations and medium-sized companies. Another company is interested in improving the surface quality of aerospace components made of titanium. This story is reprinted from material from Fraunhofer Institute, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.


Brecher C.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Manoharan D.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Ladra U.,Siemens AG | Kopken H.-G.,Siemens AG
Production Engineering | Year: 2010

The productivity of machine tools is often limited due to chatter vibrations caused by relative displacements between the tool and the workpiece. The following article presents the systematic approach of the integration of an active workpiece holder with two high dynamic axes controlled by piezoelectric actuators onto a milling machine. With these additional highly dynamic axes near the tool center point, the active workpiece holder offers possibilities to prevent chatter vibrations. © 2010 German Academic Society for Production Engineering (WGP).


Klocke F.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Zeis M.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Harst S.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Klink A.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | And 2 more authors.
Procedia CIRP | Year: 2013

In order to increase the efficiency of jet engines hard to machine nickel-based and titanium-based alloys are in common use for aero engine components such as blades and blisks (blade integrated disks). Here Electrochemical Machining (ECM) is a promising alternative to milling operations. Due to lack of appropriate process modeling capabilities beforehand still knowledge based and a cost intensive cathode design process is passed through. Therefore this paper presents a multi-physical approach for modeling the ECM material removal process by coupling all relevant conservation equations. The resulting simulation model is validated by the example of a compressor blade. Finally a new approach for an inverted cathode design process is introduced and discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Brecher C.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Lopenhaus C.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Brimmers J.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering
Procedia CIRP | Year: 2016

Today, designing the microgeometry of gears is often based on experience. Usually, objective values (Hertzian pressure, ⋯) from a tooth contact analysis are evaluated. In many cases the manufacturing tolerances are not fully considered in gear design. This results in suboptimal operation as objective values can vary significantly. The objective of this study is to introduce a simulation based method for function-oriented tolerancing of the tooth flank microgeometry. Therefore, the tolerance field is considered by a weighted average grade for each microgeometry variation in the solution space. Based on this grade, the optimal solution regarding quality and stability can be achieved. © 2016 The Authors.


Klocke F.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Tonissen S.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Wegner H.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Roderburg A.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering
Production Engineering | Year: 2011

It is believed that for complex workpieces and small lot sizes complete machining with multi-technology platforms reduces cycle times compared to multiple stand-alone machines and is economically more efficient. However, so far in literature no mathematical model has been applied to compare these alternatives with respect to cost and productivity. This paper introduces a mathematical model for part costs and productivity and examines conditions under which multi-technology platforms are economically efficient. It is concluded that depending on the reduction of reconfiguration and processing times efficient production with multi-technology platforms is not solely limited to small lot sizes. © 2011 German Academic Society for Production Engineering (WGP).


Klocke F.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Brumm M.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Weber G.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering
Procedia CIRP | Year: 2015

Production processes for large module gears are characterized by small batch sizes and high workpiece costs. Therefore, the production of scrap parts cannot be accepted. Manufacturing processes are often not pushed to their limits so that the limits themselves are often not clearly known. To use the potentials of modern tool and machine tool concepts, a deeper theoretical understanding of the processes is necessary. This applies especially to modern indexable insert gear cutting tools, which gain importance in these processes. In the past, gear cutting processes for large module gears have seldom been a subject of scientific research. Therefore, the design of these processes is largely based on experience. Especially, for the newer and more complex tool concepts using indexable inserts, a possibility to analyze processes theoretically is a key factor for deeper understanding of the processes and tool concepts. In this paper the two most important processes for green machining of large module gears, gear hobbing and form milling, are analyzed using simulation and machining trials. For the process simulation, major changes to existing process simulation tools for gear machining processes were implemented. For suitable machining trials, model processes were developed for milling and hobbing. These allow an analysis of the wear behavior of the tools based on a reduced number of machined parts. In this paper the bridge between simulation and machining for large module gears will be drawn in terms of chip removal and deformation, wear behavior and tool design features. As final result a first method for a simulation based process design will be given. © 2014 The Authors. Published by B.V.


Schuh G.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Arnoscht J.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Volker M.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering
Procedia CIRP | Year: 2012

The current situation of the manufacturing industry is characterized by permanent development in economics, politics and society. In order to react to those, companies have to be able to adapt the organization to these changes. Therefore a certain degree of changeability is inevitable. Today companies are seeking for the optimal degree of changeability. To determine it and to reduce the necessary changeability, its drivers have to be identified. The main internal factor are the products. Depending on future customer needs and requirements, different products and product designs force companies to change their production systems. Therefore instruments are required which enable companies to reduce the necessary changeability already in the creation process. © 2012 The Authors.


Klocke F.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Lopenhaus C.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Sari D.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering
Procedia CIRP | Year: 2016

In the process chain for gear manufacturing, gear hobbing is one of the most productive processes for soft machining of gears. To reach a high quality after the soft machining, for example in gear finish hobbing, the requirements on the hobbing process increases significantly. To get a high quality part after soft machining, the process of gear hobbing is mostly divided in a roughing and a finishing cut. In the roughing process, the most amount of the material needs to get machined. The finishing process is used to get a high quality shape of the gear and to get low surface roughness. To get low cutting forces in the finishing step, the material stock after the roughing process has to be minimized. A low amount of stock on the flank offers the possibility to use high cutting speeds. This paper deals with the investigation of the two cut processes in the gear hobbing. Especially, the tool life of different tool concepts are taken into account. The process design offers the opportunity to use the same tool for the roughing and the finishing cut or the choice of different tools. Using different tools, a special tool design for the finishing step would be possible. A comparison between these two concepts is the focus of the investigation. © 2016 The Authors.


Brecher C.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Lopenhaus C.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering | Knecht P.,Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering
Procedia CIRP | Year: 2016

The transmission error (TE) is a criterion in the design process for gears, as, beside a sufficient load-carrying capacity and good efficiency, noise performance is an important customer demand. For the micro geometry design, the tooth contact analysis (TCA) including the simulation of the manufacturing process for the flank topography is necessary. The objective of this paper is to show potential for the optimization of face-milled bevel gears. Therefore, the FE-based TCA program ZaKo3D was developed. The potential for the acoustic optimization of ground bevel gears in terms of tonality reduction is discussed. Hence, the TCA is performed with a complete tooth hunting, in order to consider all individual flanks of the gear set. Finally, the different topography distributions for a ground design will be discussed in order to understand the optimization potential for a tonality reduction by imitating the lapped topography characteristic. © 2016 The Authors.

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