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See detailValue Stream Mapping (VSM) to Evaluate and Visualize Interrelated Process-Chains Regarding Circular Economy
Mangers, Jeff UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Advances in Production Management Systems. Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable and Resilient Production Systems (2021, August 31), 633

The concept of circular economy (CE) aims to close and slow resource loops without neglecting the goals of sustainable development. Recently, the concept received encouraging attention among researchers ... [more ▼]

The concept of circular economy (CE) aims to close and slow resource loops without neglecting the goals of sustainable development. Recently, the concept received encouraging attention among researchers and business experts to be a convenient solution to move away from the finite linear economy concept to a more sustainable solution. However, this change of paradigm is only possible if we consider systems in a holistic manner and can localize the preventing hurdles. Value stream mapping (VSM) is a commonly known lean method, used to develop current state visualization of product and information flows within organization, helping to seek weaknesses and improve process flows. The motivation of this paper is a new C-VSM model, which enables its users to evaluate and visualize connected process-chains regarding CE on different levels in a holistic manner. For this purpose, the traditional VSM model was adapted towards the needs and requirements of CE through the application of a new representation method, additional indicators, and an appropriated evaluation system. C-VSM is in line with the current political and industrial objectives to apply CE principles by enabling a holistic reflection and consideration of supply-chains (SCs) on different levels. The model itself is validated through an extensive cross-company case study. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of fluid level in bores for batch size one assembly automation using convolutional neural network
Simeth, Alexej UL; Plaßmann, Jessica; Plapper, Peter UL

in Advances in Production Management Systems. Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable and Resilient Production Systems. (2021, August 31), 632

Increased customization and shortening product life cycles pose a challenge for automation, especially in assembly. In combination with the nature of assembly tasks, which may require high level of ... [more ▼]

Increased customization and shortening product life cycles pose a challenge for automation, especially in assembly. In combination with the nature of assembly tasks, which may require high level of perception, skill, and logical thinking, these tasks are often conducted manually, especially in certain industries (e.g. furniture, power tools) or small and medium-sized enterprises. One of such tasks is the liquid level monitoring in gluing processes. Existing non-manual solutions are based on conventional and less flexible algorithms to detect the current liquid level. In production environments with highly individualized products, a need for more performant models arises. With artificial intelligence (AI) it is possible to deduct decisions from unknown multidimensional correlations in sensor data, which is a key enabler for assembly automation for products with high degree of customization. In this paper, an AI-based model is proposed to automate a gluing process in a final assembly. Images of a gluing process are taken with a camera and a convolutional neural network is used to extract images features. The features are applied to train a support vector machine classifier to identify the liquid level. The developed model is tested and validated with a Monte-Carlo-simulation and used on a demonstrator to automate a gluing process. The developed model classifies images of liquid levels with over 98% accuracy. Similar results are achieved on the demonstrator. [less ▲]

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See detailArtificial neural network to predict the weld status in laser welding of copper to aluminum
Mathivanan, Karthik UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Procedia CIRP (2021)

Laser welding of copper to aluminum is challenging due to the formation of complex intermetallic phases. More Al (~18.5 at. %) can be dissolved in Cu, in contrast to Cu (~2.5 at. %) in Al. Therefore ... [more ▼]

Laser welding of copper to aluminum is challenging due to the formation of complex intermetallic phases. More Al (~18.5 at. %) can be dissolved in Cu, in contrast to Cu (~2.5 at. %) in Al. Therefore, welding from copper side, large melting of Al can be achieved. However optimum Cu and Al must be melted for a strong joint. Finding the right amount is difficult and time consuming by tradition analysis technique like inspection by weld cross-sections. Considering the speed of the welding process and complexity of analysis involving with metallography cross-sections, alternative rapid method to qualify the welds are necessary. The acoustic emission during laser welding can give proportional information of the Al, Cu melted. With such an approach the weld status can be obtained in real time. In this paper the acoustic welding signal using an airborne sensor in the audible range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, is correlated to the weld strength and material mixing (Al, Cu melt). Finally, the weld status is predicted by an artificial neural network based on the acquired signal. [less ▲]

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See detailHolo Study – Mixed Reality Framework for Industrial Engineering Education and Training
Minoufekr, Meysam UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Trends in Technical & Scientific Research (2020), 4(5), 0131-0135

Nowadays, students struggle with understanding complex production processes and kinematics of machine tools and robots. While professors mostly have been dealing with these subjects for many years ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, students struggle with understanding complex production processes and kinematics of machine tools and robots. While professors mostly have been dealing with these subjects for many years, students have only short time to be introduced to the complex nature of these topics. Mixed Reality allows students to engage hands-on in their subjects to reach new dimensions of understanding. Making challenging topics for students accessible by creating a more visual and tactile experience. The applications for entertainment and gaming are off the charts, but the implications for augmented reality in education and science are also undoubtedly massive. The project focusses on making education as interactive as possible, which helps both, teachers and students receive a unique tool for communicating phenomena and processes that are difficult to describe verbally. As a result, a complex knowledge becomes simple, an involvement of students grows, the quality of education increases [less ▲]

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See detailA Survey of Information Entropy Metrics for Complex Networks
Omar, Yamila UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Entropy (2020)

Information entropy metrics have been applied to a wide range of problems that were abstracted as complex networks. This growing body of research is scattered in multiple disciplines, which makes it ... [more ▼]

Information entropy metrics have been applied to a wide range of problems that were abstracted as complex networks. This growing body of research is scattered in multiple disciplines, which makes it difficult to identify available metrics and understand the context in which they are applicable. In this work, a narrative literature review of information entropy metrics for complex networks is conducted following the PRISMA guidelines. Existing entropy metrics are classified according to three different criteria: whether the metric provides a property of the graph or a graph component (such as the nodes), the chosen probability distribution, and the types of complex networks to which the metrics are applicable. Consequently, this work identifies the areas in need for further development aiming to guide future research efforts. [less ▲]

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See detailAugmented Reality in Manual Assembly Processes
Kolla, Sri Sudha Vijay Keshav UL; Sanchez, Andre UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL et al

in Kolla, Sri Sudha Vijay Keshav; Sanchez, Andre; Minoufekr, Meysam (Eds.) et al Augmented Reality in Manual Assembly Processes (2020, September 23)

Augmented Reality (AR) is a novel technology that projects virtual information on the real world environment. With the increased use of Industry 4.0 technologies in manufacturing, AR has gained momentum ... [more ▼]

Augmented Reality (AR) is a novel technology that projects virtual information on the real world environment. With the increased use of Industry 4.0 technologies in manufacturing, AR has gained momentum across various stages of product life cycle. AR can benefit production operators in many manufacturing tasks such as quality inspection, work instructions for manual assembly, maintenance, and in training. This research presents not only a typical architecture of an AR system but also both its software and hardware functions. The architecture is then applied to display virtual assembly instructions in the form of 3D animations on to the real world environment. The chosen assembly task in this research is to assemble a planetary gearbox system. The assembly instructions are displayed on a mobile device targeting a static tracker placed in the assembly environment. [less ▲]

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See detailDigitizing of Research and Teaching
Plapper, Peter UL

Scientific Conference (2020, September 05)

The current Covid-19 crisis impacts all manufacturing areas and new processes are sought. This presentation provides the audience with three examples related to assembly work instructions, logistics data ... [more ▼]

The current Covid-19 crisis impacts all manufacturing areas and new processes are sought. This presentation provides the audience with three examples related to assembly work instructions, logistics data handling and manufacturing education, for which innovative ways to obtain access to context sensitive data based on digital tools are investigated. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) facilitate access to relevant manufacturing information. In order to provide logistic warehouse workers with immediate access to shipping documents, to avoid paper print-outs, and to eliminate error-prone typing of information, critical information should be handled digitally and hands-free. To support logistic workers to efficiently document, register and trace receipt, storage or delivery of goods, the presented solution is built on hands-free digital tools with AR technology in commercially available smart glasses. Similarly, workers who execute complex assembly operations frequently require either assistance or support for the next assembly step. Depending on the context, relevant assembly process information is automatically displayed together with the environment in the AR smart glass. Thus, the operator is supported by the presented hands-free-tool to complete the next challenging tasks. Currently, teaching is being transferred from physical class-room teaching to remote or hybrid education. For this purpose, Virtual Reality (VR) provides a very welcome opportunity to complement in-presence teaching with exposure to examples of real manufacturing operations captured in videos of industrial case studies. Students apply learnings from theoretical classes to manufacturing case studies by identifying best practices and also recognizing waste. The presentation shares experience in teaching of lean methods based on AR technology to graduate engineering students. [less ▲]

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See detailMensch-Roboter-Kollaboration in der Domäne Refabrikation – State-of-the-Art und Ausblick
Groß, Sebastian UL; Gerke, Wolfgang; Plapper, Peter UL

in Jäkel, Jens; Thiel, Robert (Eds.) Tagungsband AALE 2020 Automatisierung und Mensch-Technik-Interaktion (2020, March 05)

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See detailAgentenbasierte, hybride Steuerungsarchitektur für cyberphysische Refabrikationssysteme
Groß, Sebastian UL; Gerke, Wolfgang; Plapper, Peter UL

in Jäkel, Jens; Thiel, Robert (Eds.) Tagungsband AALE 2020 Automatisierung und Mensch-Technik-Interaktion (2020, March 05)

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See detailDeriving essential components of lean and industry 4.0 assessment model for manufacturing SMEs
Kolla, Sri Sudha Vijay Keshav UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in 52nd CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems (CMS) (2019), 81

Quantifying lean and ICT architecture related to Industry 4.0 is a new challenge in Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) that needs to be addressed by both research as well as enterprises themselves ... [more ▼]

Quantifying lean and ICT architecture related to Industry 4.0 is a new challenge in Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) that needs to be addressed by both research as well as enterprises themselves. Especially in the manufacturing sector, SMEs need to transform themselves into emerging trends such as industry 4.0 while practicing existing manufacturing philosophies such as Lean Production Systems (LPS) to be competitive in global markets. The major concern is that there are many assessment models available to measure the status of an enterprise related to either LPS or Industry 4.0. Often, these models are complex and don’t fulfill the requirements of manufacturing SMEs. On the other hand, most of the models only consider either lean or industry 4.0 elements. The outcomes of this research help to develop a hybrid model including both lean and industry 4.0 features suitable for manufacturing SMEs. The main objective of this research is to provide state of the art literature on existing assessment models and consequently map lean and industry 4.0 components to the specific characteristics of manufacturing SMEs. The paper concludes with a summary and outlook for our future research. [less ▲]

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See detailMaximum flow of complex manufacturing networks
Omar, Yamila UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Procedia CIRP (2019)

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See detailRobotic assistants in factory routines - the ethical implications
Klecker, Sophie UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in RACIR 2019 (2019)

This paper is concerned with the problems which arise when humans are working alongside robotic assistants. The main question which appears is how to define the difference between humans and robots in ... [more ▼]

This paper is concerned with the problems which arise when humans are working alongside robotic assistants. The main question which appears is how to define the difference between humans and robots in terms of characteristics, similarities or differences and how to consequently treat humans and robots in the factory routine. Based on a literature analysis, a common ground for the treatment of human and robotic workforce in the manufacturing industry is established. Subsequently, a framework for their cooperation is deduced and an implementation of the solution suggested. [less ▲]

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See detailRobotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2018
Müller, Rainer; Plapper, Peter UL; Brüls, Olivier et al

Book published by Shaker Verlag - 1st ed (2018)

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See detailFLEXCAP – Cost competitive flexible process for highly aesthetic closures manufacturing
Kakogiannos, Ioannis UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Kakogiannos, Ioannis; Hichri, Bassem; Plapper, Peter (Eds.) Robotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2018 (2018, November)

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See detailIndustry 4.0 – Implementation of an automated assembly line in a wooden modular house production plant: The case Leko Labs
de Vincenzo, Vincenzo UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in De vincenzo, Vincenzo; Hichri, Bassem; Plapper, Peter (Eds.) Robotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2018 (2018, November)

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See detailNeuro-Inspired Reward-Based Tracking Control for Robotic Manipulators with Unknown Dynamics
Klecker, Sophie UL; Hichri, Bassem UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Proceedings of the 2017 2nd International Conference on Robotics and Automation Engineering (ICRAE) (2017, December)

Tracking control for robotic manipulators is required for numerous automation tasks in manufacturing engineering. For this purpose, model-free PD-controllers are largely implemented by default in ... [more ▼]

Tracking control for robotic manipulators is required for numerous automation tasks in manufacturing engineering. For this purpose, model-free PD-controllers are largely implemented by default in commercially available robot arms and provide satisfactory performance for simple path following applications. Ever more complex automation tasks however ask for novel intelligent and adaptive tracking control strategies. In surface finishing processes, discontinuous freeform paths as well as changing constraints between the robotic end-effector and its surrounding environment affect the tracking control by undermining the stable system performance. The lacking knowledge of industrial robot dynamic parameters presents an additional challenge for the tracking control algorithms. In this paper the control problem of robotic manipulators with unknown dynamics and varying constraints is addressed. A robust sliding mode controller is combined with an RBF (Radial Basis Function) Neural Network-estimator and an intelligent, biomimetic BELBIC (Brain Emotional Learning-Based Intelligent Control) term to approximate the nonlinear robot dynamics function and achieve a robust and adaptive tracking performance. [less ▲]

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See detailRobotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2017
Müller, Rainer; Plapper, Peter UL; Brüls, Olivier et al

Book published by Shaker Verlag - 1st ed (2017)

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See detailCross-enterprise value stream assessment
Oberhausen, Christof UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Journal of Advances in Management Research (2017), 14(2), 182-193

Purpose – In most cases, the conventional assessment of value streams is based on key performance indicators (KPIs) like the share of added value, the degree of flow or a comprehensive lead time analysis ... [more ▼]

Purpose – In most cases, the conventional assessment of value streams is based on key performance indicators (KPIs) like the share of added value, the degree of flow or a comprehensive lead time analysis. To evaluate cross-enterprise value streams of manufacturing, business or service processes in detail, a holistic methodology is needed. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach – In this research paper, the assessment of value streams within complex cross-company networks is described. After a presentation of relevant KPIs in the fields of value stream management (VSM) and supply chain management (SCM), an approach for a cross-enterprise evaluation of value streams on different levels of detail is shown. In addition, the use of an absolute VSM evaluation, in contrast to a relative VSM assessment, is examined. Findings – Based on a uniform and well-balanced set of KPIs and other VSM and SCM parameters, a performance assessment on different levels of value stream detail is enabled. Further investigations reveal the advantages of a relative compared with an absolute VSM assessment. Research limitations/implications – In addition to a comprehensive overview of existing KPIs for a value stream assessment beyond company borders, a holistic and multi-level VSM approach is presented in this paper. In contrast to existing VSM approaches, the described method allows an evaluation and subsequent improvement of value streams within supply chain networks. Up to now, the presented approach for the assessment of cross-enterprise value streams has only been tested in specific industrial environments. In future, the proposed methodology shall also be validated for other process types like business, service or further manufacturing processes. Practical implications – The described cross-company performance measurement approach shows a high practical relevance for organizations operating in supply chain networks. Due to the integrated use of different VSM parameters, the evaluation of highly interconnected value streams across corporate boundaries is facilitated. By means of a case study, the proposed methodology is validated under real industry conditions and proves its practical applicability. Originality/value – One of the novel features of this research is the extension of the traditional VSM method with respect to a relative evaluation of value streams based on a set of significant KPIs. In addition, the allocation of these KPIs to different value stream layers and categories leads to an innovative approach for a multi-level assessment according to the needs of the specific VSM application, e.g. a more standardized use of VSM in complex supply chain networks. [less ▲]

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