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See detailEngineering Education at the University of Luxembourg - Hand in hand with national industry
Plapper, Peter UL

Scientific Conference (2016, September)

Speech on how industry and university educate students together on Bachelor, Master and PhD level. The presenter answered questions of his peers during the discussion.

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See detailAdaptive SMC For Trajectory Tracking In FreeForm Grinding
Klecker, Sophie UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in 2016 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics, Poitiers, 18th-21st July 2016 (2016, July)

This work is a first step to the automation of freeform surface grinding. A control strategy for a robotic manipulator following a path which includes switching between different surfaces, constant depths ... [more ▼]

This work is a first step to the automation of freeform surface grinding. A control strategy for a robotic manipulator following a path which includes switching between different surfaces, constant depths of cut and system-inherent as well as environmental uncertainties is presented. The sliding mode control scheme with adaptive parameter update law is verified through simulation. [less ▲]

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See detailInnovations enabled by laser joining of dissimilar materials
Plapper, Peter UL

Scientific Conference (2016, June 29)

The key-note presents latest scientific findings of the Laser Technology Competence Center (LTCC) of the University of Luxembourg and illustrate them with real use cases. see attached text of abstract

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See detailValue Stream Management Training
Plapper, Peter UL; Oberhausen, Christof UL

Learning material (2016)

The VSM workshop deals with concepts in the area of Value Stream Management, comprising the analysis, design and optimization of internal material and information flows. The VSM workshop was held by Prof ... [more ▼]

The VSM workshop deals with concepts in the area of Value Stream Management, comprising the analysis, design and optimization of internal material and information flows. The VSM workshop was held by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Plapper and M.Sc. Christof Oberhausen, who contribute a profound knowledge in Value Stream Management based on their ongoing research in this field. The one-day VSM workshop is targeted at an audience of 8-12 participants with a background in Lean Engineering or Operational Excellence. [less ▲]

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See detailProcess Robustness of Laser Braze-Welded AlCu Connectors
Schmalen, Pascal Guy UL; Plapper, Peter; Cai, Wayne

in SAE International Journal of Alternative Powertrains (2016), 5(1),

Laser welding of dissimilar metals such as Aluminum and Copper, which is required for Li-ion battery joining, is challenging due to the inevitable formation of the brittle and high electrical-resistant ... [more ▼]

Laser welding of dissimilar metals such as Aluminum and Copper, which is required for Li-ion battery joining, is challenging due to the inevitable formation of the brittle and high electrical-resistant intermetallic compounds. Recent research has shown that by using a novel technology, called laser braze-welding, the Al-Cu intermetallics can be minimized to achieve superior mechanical and electrical joint performance. This paper investigates the robustness of the laser braze-welding process. Three product and process categories, i.e. choice of materials, joint configurations, and process conditions, are studied. It is found that in-process effects such as sample cleanness and shielding gas fluctuations have a minor influence on the process robustness. Furthermore, many pre-process effects, e.g. design changes such as multiple layers or anodized base material can be successfully welded by process adaption. The minimization of the interface gap is identified as the most significant influence of process stability. The specimen were validated by mechanical lap shear tests and metallographic analysis. [less ▲]

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See detailForce-Guided Robotic Assembly Process: Control and Contact-State Recognition
Jasim, Ibrahim UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This thesis addresses developing novel Contact-State (CS) modeling, control strategy, and environment position localization (position searching) for force-guided robotic assembly processes of rigid and ... [more ▼]

This thesis addresses developing novel Contact-State (CS) modeling, control strategy, and environment position localization (position searching) for force-guided robotic assembly processes of rigid and flexible objects. For the CS modeling, the wrench (Cartesian force and torque) signals of the manipulated object are captured for different phases of the considered assembly processes and using the Expectation Maximization-based Gaussian Mixtures Model (EM-GMM), a recognizer is developed for each CS of the assembly. The suggested EM-GMM CS modeling scheme is shown to have excellent Classification Success Rate (CSR) with reduced computational efforts. For the control part, it is shown throughout the thesis that a force-guided robotic assembly process is a hybrid nonlinear system with arbitrary switching signal resulted from the constraints arbitrary switching during the assembly. Furthermore, the robot dynamics is frequently unknown, which is the case in many industrial robots, that would make the force-guided robotic assembly process to be an unknown hybrid nonlinear system with arbitrary switching. In order to overcome such a control challenge, a Decentralized Robust Adaptive Fuzzy Control (DRAFC) strategy is derived that guarantees stable performance under constraints arbitrary switching and unknown dynamics. For the environment position localization, the EM-GMM CS modeling scheme is integrated with a spiral search path and the precise hole position is identified for cases of position uncertainty. Experiments are conducted on a KUKA Lightweight Robot (LWR) doing different force-guided assembly tasks for rigid and flexible objects. Excellent performance is reported for the proposed EM-GMM CS recognition scheme, the DRAFC strategy, and the suggested position searching algorithm. The suggested EM-GMM CS recognition, DRAFC strategy, and position localization schemes are compared with the availably corresponding schemes and the superiority of the suggested schemes is shown. The reasons behind the superiority of the EM-GMM CS recognition scheme are the accommodation of the captured signals non-stationary behavior, employing optimized number of GMM components in the modeling process, and employing the EM algorithm that iteratively increases the log-likelihood. The causes behind the superiority of the DRAFC strategy are addressing the unknown nonlinear dynamics of the robot, accommodating the constraints arbitrary switching, and the robustness against possible dynamics parameters drift. The reasons behind the surpassing of the suggested position localization strategy are the robustness against the surface roughness and reduced computational efforts. The proposed EM-GMM CS modeling scheme, DRAFC strategy, and position searching scheme are applied to the entire peg-in-hole assembly processes of rigid and flexible objects. Excellent Localization Success Rate (LSR) was resulted when using the suggested schemes. Furthermore, the proposed CS modeling scheme, control strategy, and localization approach are applied to a couple of applications in automotive industry; the first one is the camshaft caps assembly of a cylinder head and the other is the air-intake manifold assembly of a powertrain. Efficient force-guided robotic assembly processes are obtained for both considered applications. [less ▲]

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See detailEditorial
Plapper, Peter UL

in Cahier Scientifique - Revue Technique Luxembourgeoise (2016), 1

Editorial comment at the start of the scientific edition of the Revue Technique, reflecting the needs of the country and the content of the journal.

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See detailA Standardized Value Stream Management Method for Supply Chain Networks
Oberhausen, Christof UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Dimitrov, Dimiter; Oosthuizen, Tiaan (Eds.) Proceedings - International Conference on Competitive Manufacturing (2016)

In a globalized market environment, almost all companies operate in complex supply chain networks. A high degree of product diversification in combination with rapidly changing customer needs require ... [more ▼]

In a globalized market environment, almost all companies operate in complex supply chain networks. A high degree of product diversification in combination with rapidly changing customer needs require cross-enterprise supply chain collaboration, which causes communication problems. A way to cope with this complexity is to optimize both internal as well as external processes in a holistic manner and to define standards for interaction, collaboration and communication procedures. An established method for process analysis and optimization is Value Stream Management (VSM). Despite a variety of promising VSM approaches, there is a lack of a standardized VSM method, especially with regard to complex supply chain networks. Thus, a review of methods for process visualization and their suitability for different process types shall be discussed. A common VSM method with integrated features according to the specific needs of the applying organization will help to optimize the value creation in cross-enterprise supply chains. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of laser braze-welded dissimilar Al-Cu joints
Schmalen, Pascal Guy UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Physics Procedia (2016), 83

The thermal joining of Aluminum and Copper is a promising technology towards automotive battery manufacturing. The dissimilar metals Al-Cu are difficult to weld due to their different physicochemical ... [more ▼]

The thermal joining of Aluminum and Copper is a promising technology towards automotive battery manufacturing. The dissimilar metals Al-Cu are difficult to weld due to their different physicochemical characteristics and the formation of intermetallic compounds (IMC), which have reduced mechanical and electric properties. There is a critical thickness of the IMCs where the favored mechanical properties of the base material can be preserved. The laser braze welding principle uses a position and power oscillated laser-beam to reduce the energy input and the intermixture of both materials and therefore achieves minimized IMCs thickness. The evaluation of the weld seam is important to improve the joint performance and enhance the welding process. This paper is focused on the characterization and quantification of the IMCs. Mechanical, electrical and metallurgical methods are presented and performed on Al1050 and SF-Cu joints and precise weld criteria are developed. [less ▲]

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See detailAgentenbasierte Steuerung der Mensch-Roboter-Interaktion
Jungbluth, Jan UL; Gerke; Plapper, Peter UL

in Automatisierungstechnische Praxis (2016), 12

Die manuelle Demontage schmälert die Wirtschaftlichkeit von Refabrikationsprozessen maßgebend und stellt in der Arbeitsplatzergonomie einen Problemprozess dar. Versuche, die zerstörungsfreie Demontage zu ... [more ▼]

Die manuelle Demontage schmälert die Wirtschaftlichkeit von Refabrikationsprozessen maßgebend und stellt in der Arbeitsplatzergonomie einen Problemprozess dar. Versuche, die zerstörungsfreie Demontage zu automatisieren, scheiterten an der Varianz der Produktgestalt oder am Produktzustand. Zur Lösung dieses Problems wird im Beitrag der Einsatz eines Softwareagenten beschrieben. Die Software steuert das Verhalten eines Roboters, um dem Menschen bei der Demontage zu assistieren. Zur Information des Agenten dienen generische Informationsmodelle die zur Prozessplanung und -steuerung verwendet werden. Die grobe Prozessplanung erfolgt mit Hilfe gerichteter Graphen und zerlegt den Gesamtprozess in eine Abfolge von Teilprozessen. In der detaillierten Prozessplanung werden die Aktionen und deren zeitliche Abfolge im Teilprozess durch eine Suche ermittelt und dann zur Steuerung des Roboters verwendet. Dies ermöglicht es dem System, in einer komplexen Umgebung zielgerichtet Assistenz zu leisten und die hierfür notwendigen eigenen Handlungen autonom zu bestimmen. Ziel des Assistenzsystems ist es, die Ergonomie der Demontagearbeitsplätze durch die Unterstützung von Handlungen zu verbessern. [less ▲]

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See detailDemontage von Elektroantrieben mit Assistenzrobotern zum wirtschaftlichen Recycling
Jungbluth, Jan UL; Plapper, Peter UL; Gerke, Wolfgang

in Tagungsband AALE 2016 (2016)

Die zerstörungsfreie Demontage zum Zweck der Refrabrikation oder des höherwertigem Produktrecyclings findet nur selten im industriellen Umfeld Anwendung. Allerdings ist mit einem Anstieg dieses trennenden ... [more ▼]

Die zerstörungsfreie Demontage zum Zweck der Refrabrikation oder des höherwertigem Produktrecyclings findet nur selten im industriellen Umfeld Anwendung. Allerdings ist mit einem Anstieg dieses trennenden Fertigungsverfahrens in naher Zukunft zu rechnen da die immer stärker begrenzten und zugänglichen Ressourcen durch strengere Gesetze im Rahmen der Abfallwirtschaft gesichert werden müssen. Zum Beispiel wurden durch das Kreislaufwirt-schaftsgesetz der europäischen Union [1] die Hersteller dazu verpflichtet Rücknahmesysteme für elektrische und elektronische Geräte zu schaffen um sie einer weiteren wirtschaftlichen Nutzung oder umweltgerechten Entsorgung zugänglich zu machen. Für die umweltgerechte Entsorgung ist eine wertstoffgerechte Trennung der Produktkomponenten vorgesehen. Aus wirtschaftlichen Gründen erfolgt diese Materialtrennung meist verfahrenstechnisch durch Zerkleinern und Sortieren der Wertstoffe. Die weitere wirtschaftliche Nutzung ganzer Kompo-nenten wird, trotz hoher Einsparpotenziale [2], durch den Aufwand der Refabrikation kaum in Betracht gezogen. Denn die zerstörungsfreie Trennung kann bisher meist nur manuell und damit kostenintensiv erfolgen. In der Folge werden gerade im Bereich der Elektroschrottver-wertung häufig illegale Entsorgungswege über das außereuropäische Ausland gewählt [3]. Zur Verbesserung der Wirtschaftlichkeit der Demontage bietet oft die Automatisierung Lösun-gen. Um diesen Sektor der Automatisierung zugänglich zu machen, erfolgten bereits For-schungsaktivitäten zur Automatisierung der Demontage von Fernsehgeräten [4] und PCs [5]. Das Ergebnis dieser Studien zeigt, dass durch die hohe Variation der Produktgestalt oder aufgrund von Beschädigungen der Produkte, der [less ▲]

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See detailAcoustic-Emission-Analysis of Dissimilar Laser-welds of Aluminium and Polyamide 6.6
Schiry, Marc UL; Lamberti, Christian UL; Böhm, Peter et al

in Universal Journal of Materials Science (2016), 4(6), 119-124

A novel laser joining process for hybrid polymer-metal structures has proven a strong bond between polyamide and aluminium. This welding technique is strongly requested by the automobile producing ... [more ▼]

A novel laser joining process for hybrid polymer-metal structures has proven a strong bond between polyamide and aluminium. This welding technique is strongly requested by the automobile producing industry for numerous applications within structure components. However, the joining quality exhibits a strong dependency on process-related variables, which highlights the need for an online inspection technique. The requirements for a chosen inspection technique are [1], [2]: 1. Showing the results on-line during the joining process; 2. Working non-destructive; 3. Working as an integral method; Being able to determine weld defects. In that case only the Acoustic Emission Analysis (AEA) as a Non-Destructive-Technique (NDT) can be used to guarantee reasonable results. During the first tests at the welding laboratory at the Laser Technology Competence Centre (LTCC) at the University of Luxembourg, AEA sensors are applied onto the surface of the test specimen which has to be welded. In this principle acoustic events, caused by welding defects, are recorded during the laser joining. The most important laser process parameters, like velocity, power and horizontal focal position of the laser spot, have been verified and evaluated by the AEA. It was observed that insufficient laser power can lead to the break of the melting bath, which is often not recognizable by non-destructive optical methods [2]. The AEA however was able to detect this lack of fusion. Using high laser power, the appearance of gas bubbles arising from the Polyamide 6.6 could be detected afterwards in a microscopic micrograph. The AEA signals related to this effect can be correlated clearly. Due to the high pressure of the gas bubbles, the aluminium weld is often interrupted, which can be traced back to the solidification of the aluminium molten mass. Due to the actual situation, the AEA is a well-working NDT online monitoring method and can be used for the correlation of acoustic events and welding defects within the mentioned joining method. Future tasks will develop some algorithms to separate the different defects by pattern recognition of the AEA signals and parameter [less ▲]

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See detailRobotizing of small lot production
Plapper, Peter UL

Scientific Conference (2015, December)

Industrial robots bear significant potential for increasing productivity of manufacturing operations. However, producing increasingly individualized products with an enhanced number of variants, the ... [more ▼]

Industrial robots bear significant potential for increasing productivity of manufacturing operations. However, producing increasingly individualized products with an enhanced number of variants, the flexibility of the production system poses substantial challenges in order to robotize manual tasks. Comprehensive scientific research is required to provide tailored solutions for these manufacturing processes. This is true especially for small and medium sized companies (SME). The key note discusses the challenges of automating flexible manufacturing operations with examples from specific use cases with industrial background. We present automotive powertrain assembly, which requires agile robotic joining of rigid and complaint parts. However, as automation of many low volume processes is economically not advantageous, semi-automation and Human-Robot Collaboration are key enablers for robotizing small lot production. Human-Robot Collaboration requires novel technologies for dynamic workload distribution between worker and robot. Automating 3D surface grinding process is another example how scientific research contributes to increased manufacturing efficiency. [less ▲]

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See detailPath planning self-learning algorithm for a dynamic chaning environment
Ahmad, Rafiq; Plapper, Peter UL

Scientific Conference (2015, December)

The relevance of Human Robot Interaction to complement human skills in a manufacturing environment with industrial robots increases the concerns over safety of human and the robot. It is necessary to ... [more ▼]

The relevance of Human Robot Interaction to complement human skills in a manufacturing environment with industrial robots increases the concerns over safety of human and the robot. It is necessary to identify collision risks and avoid them otherwise production stops may cost a huge amount to the industry. A robot working at manufacturing facility should be able to predict potential collisions and must be able to prevent i.e. react automatically for safe detour around obstacle/human. Currently, industrial robots are able to detect collisions after a real contact but the existing proposals for avoiding collisions are either computationally expensive or not very well adapted to human safety. The objective of this paper is to provide intelligence to the industrial robot to predict collision risks and react automatically without stopping the production in a static environment. The proposed approach using Time of Flight (TOF) camera, provides decision regarding trajectory correction and improvement by shifting robot to a secure position. The application presented in this paper is for safe KUKA robot trajectory generation in peg-in-hole assembly process in the laboratory context. [less ▲]

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See detailGaussian Filtering for Enhanced Impedance Parameters Identification in Robotic Assembly Processes
Jasim, Ibrahim UL; Plapper, Peter UL; Voos, Holger UL

in 20th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA 2015), Luxembourg 8-11 September 2015 (2015, September 08)

Robot interaction with the environment is normally described as a mass-spring-damping impedance model and the estimation of such interaction impedance parameters requires the computation of the joint (or ... [more ▼]

Robot interaction with the environment is normally described as a mass-spring-damping impedance model and the estimation of such interaction impedance parameters requires the computation of the joint (or task) space velocity and acceleration. In many cases, the velocity and acceleration are computed by numerically computing the first and second derivatives of the sensed position signal. The numerical differentiation results in approximation errors when computing the velocity and acceleration signals that would have a direct impact on the estimation of the impedance parameters. This article proposes enhancing the estimation of the impedance parameters by smoothing the velocity and acceleration signals prior to the considered estimation process. Gaussian Smoothing Filter (GSF) is employed in smoothing the considered signals. After the smoothing process, impedance parameters estimation becomes more feasible using the available strategies like the Least Mean Square (LMS) or any other estimation approach. Experiments are conducted on a KUKA Lightweight Robot (LWR) doing the assembly of the air-intake manifold of an automotive powertrain. The impedance parameters are estimated for the smoothed and unsmoothed cases in order to show the enhancement in the estimation process. [less ▲]

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See detailModel-Free Robust Adaptive Control for Flexible Rubber Objects Manipulation
Jasim, Ibrahim UL; Plapper, Peter UL; Voos, Holger UL

in 20th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA 2015), Luxembourg 8-11 September 2015 (2015, September 08)

This article addresses the control problem of robots with unknown dynamics and manipulating flexible rubber objects of unknown elasticity. The manipulated rubber object is considered to be interacting ... [more ▼]

This article addresses the control problem of robots with unknown dynamics and manipulating flexible rubber objects of unknown elasticity. The manipulated rubber object is considered to be interacting with arbitrarily-switched constraints. Such a kind of robot system is shown to have switched impedance parameters during a task execution that results in an unknown hybrid nonlinear system with arbitrarily switched signal. A Model-Free Robust Adaptive Control (MFRAC) strategy is proposed for such a robot system that is proved to guarantee global stable performance with all closed loop signals are assured to be bounded. The suggested MFRAC strategy relies on the synergy of the Adaptive Fuzzy System (AFS), the Sliding Mode Control (SMC), and the notion of Common Lyapunov Functions (CLF). The AFS relaxes the need for knowing the precise robot dynamics, the SMC adds robustness against the drift of the dynamics parameters, and the CLF accommodates the arbitrary switching of the impedance parameters. The bounds of the impedance parameters are adapted online and incorporated in the MFRAC design such that a convergent performance is achieved. Experiment is conducted on a KUKA Lightweight Robot (LWR) doing flexible rubber peg-in-hole assembly process that falls in the category of systems considered in this article. From the experimental results, excellent tracking performance is reported when using the proposed MFRAC strategy for the considered robotic system despite the dynamics anonymity and the unknown impedance parameters arbitrary switching. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneration of safe tool-path for 2.5D milling/drilling machine-tool using 3D ToF sensor
Ahmad, Rafiq UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in CIRP - Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology (2015), 10

The complexity of multi-axis, milling and drilling CNC machines and the demand of high precision for complex parts production increase the importance of safe and efficient tool-paths generation during ... [more ▼]

The complexity of multi-axis, milling and drilling CNC machines and the demand of high precision for complex parts production increase the importance of safe and efficient tool-paths generation during manufacturing. In these machines, multi-tool working in the same area, or static un-programed machine elements, such as fixtures, another work-part may cause collision problems. It is important to know the collision risks in advance during production in order to avoid unexpected production stops, and machinery damage. This research study is focusing on automatic collision detection and avoidance for safe non-functional (rapid) tool-path generation in a static 2.5D milling or drilling machining environment, as an initial step toward complex, dynamic multi-axis machine-tool manufacturing. A 3D vision based Time of Flight (ToF) sensor provides the depth information about the manufacturing scene that are exploited by the method presented for taking an effective decision to automatically detect and avoid collisions in order to achieve safe tool-path during production. The concept presented opens up new areas for research and application of ToF camera in a CNC manufacturing environment for tool-path planning. The results obtained are for traversal safe tool-paths in a static environment, which will be adapted to more complex and dynamic real machining scenarios by integrating it with STEP-NC technology in future. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign rules for autofrettage of an aluminium valve body
Sellen, Stephan UL; Maas, Stefan UL; Andreas, Thomas et al

in Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures (2015)

The following paper is intended to improve the fatigue behaviour of a complex aluminium valve geometry under high internal cyclic pres sure loading. The autofrettage process helps to increase the f atigue ... [more ▼]

The following paper is intended to improve the fatigue behaviour of a complex aluminium valve geometry under high internal cyclic pres sure loading. The autofrettage process helps to increase the f atigue durability and a simple, but efficient design method for this proces s is deployed. Based o n non-linear material’s behaviour, fin ite eleme nt simulations of t he crack-free geometry help to determine the minimum and maximum autofrettage pressure to be used, without iterative crack simulations , which would require higher computational effort. Material tests under inverse plastifications were performed in order to determine the correct material model. The derived design method was validated with simplified specimens subjected to different autofrettage pressure levels and su bsequent cyclic fatigue tests. [less ▲]

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See detailValue Stream Management in the "Lean Manufacturing Laboratory"
Oberhausen, Christof UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Procedia CIRP (2015, July), 32

The University of Luxembourg has recently launched its learning factory, the “Lean Manufacturing Laboratory”. With the help of this manual assembly line, students gain valuable insights in the operation ... [more ▼]

The University of Luxembourg has recently launched its learning factory, the “Lean Manufacturing Laboratory”. With the help of this manual assembly line, students gain valuable insights in the operation of a manufacturing line as well as in buffer, waste and congestion management. Currently, one of the main research topics at the University of Luxembourg in the field of Lean Management is the further development of the method Value Stream Management (VSM). The application of VSM in the “Lean Manufacturing Laboratory” with a projected focus on industry and service sectors reveals the need for a standardized VSM approach. Thus, one of the research objectives is the development of a common VSM method accompanied by standardized software and process interfaces to ensure robust product and information flows within a company and also throughout supply chains. On the way towards a VSM method as standard, existing VSM approaches have to be investigated and validated. By a detailed comparison of existing VSM approaches, all necessary fields of action for the development of a standardized Value Stream Management approach are shown. [less ▲]

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See detailValue Stream Management in high variability production systems
Oberhausen, Christof UL; Weber, Daniel; Plapper, Peter UL

in SSRG International Journal of Industrial Engineering (2015), 2(1), 4

Increasing customer requirements and high pressure from global competition are forcing companies to a holistic optimization of their business and production processes. To ensure the competiveness of ... [more ▼]

Increasing customer requirements and high pressure from global competition are forcing companies to a holistic optimization of their business and production processes. To ensure the competiveness of enterprises in future, it is necessary to introduce a process-oriented view instead of a departmental thinking. This paper describes the application of Value Stream Management by the University of Luxembourg in collaboration with the industrial partner Rotarex S.A., a provider of gas control solutions headquartered in Luxembourg. With the help of Value Stream Analysis and Design, relevant material and information flows are captured, analyzed and finally optimized. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 187 (33 UL)