Within the context of the Industrial Internet of Things, companies face the challenge of equipping their production departments with new technologies and accordingly adapting their organization, as well as their employees’ training. Together with other partners, Festo is researching how a transformation to a cyber-physical production system can be successfully carried out within the context of the joint ADAPTION project.
Discussion about the Industrial Internet of Things is often very technical. However, production systems involve sociotechnical systems where people have to work together with technology. And thus in addition to technology, the dimensions of organization and personnel are also essential for the successful implementation of concepts for the Industrial Internet of Things.
Adapting to the complexity of these processes of change, overcoming them and coordinating the areas of action – both technically as well as in a human-centered, economically efficient and organizational manner – is a major task for all industrial companies, but in particular for small and medium-sized businesses.
And thus the ADAPTION research project concerns itself with supporting companies so that they can manage the change to a cyber-physical production system (CPPS) and develop their own vision of the Industrial Internet of Things. Attention is focused on work planning and production control.
The goal of the project is to develop and test a maturity-based procedure model that helps companies change over to a cyber-physical production system. The target status and the associated maturity levels are determined individually for each company according to benefits and cost-effectiveness.
The project is based on a holistic approach to the constitutive dimensions of technology (T), organization (O) and personnel (P).
In order to support practical implementation of the maturity and procedure model at the company, these are implemented in a software application. This interactive tool is intended to make it possible to record the actual status of the company and help the responsible persons derive and implement the necessary measures for the achievement of the individual target status.
The pilot department at Festo is part of variants production at the Rohrbach location. Above all short-term, individual orders with very small batch quantities are produced here, which have to be completed quickly. Requirements placed on planning and control systems, as well as needs-based data which is relevant for decisions, are accordingly strict. This necessitates seamlessly networked production plants and systems that ensure an appropriate information exchange and control process.
The other application partners in the project – Bernard & Reiner GmbH, Jacobi Eloxal GmbH and Georg Zwetzsch GmbH – are faced with similar challenges. All three companies are anchored in the Festo value added network as suppliers. A more effective flow of information and data, as well as improved interfaces, are expected to improve planning and process reliability and minimize bottlenecks, thus making it easier for suppliers to plan orders.
Before actual targets are set, the initial situation for each application company must be recorded in order to pinpoint the potential of the companies and tap into the Industrial Internet of Things at an individual level. A specially developed maturity model, which makes up the core of the research project, is used in order to categorize the recorded actual status and the defined target statuses.
In order to achieve the target status, economically viable measures are derived in the next step. On the one hand, these measures are used to determine the organizational procedures and technical adjustments. On the other hand, employees are accordingly instructed regarding technical and organizational changes and, if necessary, provided with training. The described steps (IoT audit, determining the target status and maturity level, implementation) are carried out at the companies cyclically until the desired target status is reached in each case.
Project sponsor: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Consortium manager: Festo Learning Center Saar
ADAPTION is a joint research project within the framework of the funding initiative “Industrie 4.0 – Forschung auf den betrieblichen Hallenboden” (Industry 4.0 – research on the operational factory floor) sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.