Real-time oriented value stream analysis - Joint project with Fraunhofer IPA
Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA and iFAKT start a joint research project on digital value stream analysis
The kick-off for the project "Development and evaluation of a real-time oriented value stream analysis", in short, "ECOWERT", took place already on September 1, 2021.
The ECOWERT project team aims to develop and evaluate a real-time oriented value stream analysis as the next evolutionary step of the value stream method.
The goal is an applicable value stream mapping system with defined data interfaces, own sensor technology, KPI-related data processing, and digitized visualization.
The tool-supported method to be developed will be a software product and consulting service for all manufacturing companies that want to use their production data semi-autonomously to initiate continuous production optimization with the value stream method.
Bundling the various competencies in a joint research project
As a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider for the analysis, planning, and control of production and supply chain processes, iFAKT can draw on many years of expertise in the field of software development:
In addition to the Predictive ERP app-suite with a focus on advanced planning and scheduling, discrete event simulation, and heuristic optimization of manufacturing and logistics processes, iFAKT also offers VSM 4.0, a solution for digital value stream management, and thus brings important know-how both in the software development of a value stream tool, as well as many years of expertise in value stream analysis and design.
iFAKT is also a long-time Microsoft Gold Partner and listed with its solutions in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace and in the Microsoft AppSource platform.
Fraunhofer IPA, which is leading the overall project, is contributing its methodological background in the research topic of "value stream mapping" to the project. This includes:
- The scientific fundamentals of functionality, symbols, structure, and visualization of value streams
- The experience in the optimization of manufacturing processes using value stream design at numerous companies from all industries
- Further development of the value stream method including the energy value stream and the optimization of energy consumption in manufacturing systems
In addition, data acquisition and evaluation are also central components of the project. The experts at Fraunhofer IPA are contributing their knowledge and experience in the field of “autonomous production optimization”. To digitize the value stream method, the research team utilizes data providers on the shop floor, such as sensors, machine interfaces, and databases, and transfers the data into an updated value stream analysis. This will make the value stream method more effective, accurate, and faster.
The Fraunhofer IPA researchers thus bring extensive application and research experience into the two core areas of the project - decades of cross-sector application of the value stream method in an industrial context and extensive prior experience in the field of autonomous production optimization.
The project partners about the joint project "ECOWERT":
Markus Böhm, Project Manager at Fraunhofer IPA, about the project:
"We, as an application-oriented research institute, always emphasize the synergies between science and industrial implementation. The format of this investBW-funded project allows us to tread both paths in parallel together with our industry partner. In this way, methodological and implementation expertise is complemented in the project team, which is evident from the very beginning in the open, productive, and goal-oriented joint work on the next generation of the value stream method. I am pleased to see the cohesion and professionalism, which is visible since the beginning. Now it's time to turn this energy into real customer benefits!"
Jörg Drees, Managing Director and founder of iFAKT GmbH:
"The research project together with the Fraunhofer Institute IPA enables us to combine the expertise in terms of the value stream method and the already existing digital solutions of both project partners, to develop new services and thus to concretely implement the next stage of digital value stream analysis for our customers.
Once again, it is a leap into new technological challenges. The difference this time:
We are bundling our various competencies in a joint research project.
I can feel the curiosity, the thirst for knowledge, and the drive of the project team, and that highly motivates me. We can learn a lot from each other and will learn a lot of new things together!"
The project is funded by the Invest BW program of the Ministry of Economics, Labor, and Tourism. BW Invest supports research and innovation projects to help companies with their plans for the future.