Customized Digital Planning Processes

The digitization of planning processes in combination with optimization methods helps companies to better control production processes. Employees in our Optimization unit develop individual solutions for this purpose.

Systematically scrutinizing existing planning processes is only the first step. The identification of improvement potentials, the digitization of processes, as well as the development of customized optimization methods and intuitive planning software contribute significantly to the success of various projects.

Imitating the Way Experienced Workers Think

A team led by Dr. Heiner Ackermann and Dr. Elisabeth Finhold supports companies in their transition to digital production planning. In every production there are numerous tasks that need to be well coordinated. The experts analyze these processes and address the following questions, for example:

  • How are the processes coordinated?
  • On which machine does what happen?
  • Which technical and organizational constraints must be observed?

This is followed by modeling: The researchers develop algorithms that are tailored to the complex rules of the company. The goal is to individually optimize the planning processes. With customized algorithms, they initially emulate to a certain extent how experienced production planners proceed. These usually have extensive planning know-how and proven best practices. The knowledge and experience of the employees are thus systematically recorded, digitized and made accessible to less experienced colleagues. As a result, routine tasks can be automated to a large extent, thus relieving the workload on specialists who are in demand. In the next step, the researchers will supplement and improve the procedure with rigorous mathematical optimization methods.

Increase of Production Efficiency

With the process tailored specifically to the needs of the company, potential for improvement can be identified, alternative planning approaches can be evaluated, and production can be optimally controlled. In this way, digitization and optimization ultimately contribute to an increase in productivity.

Application Example: Optimized Processes in the Production of Floor Coverings

Floorcoverings from nora by interface can be found in hospitals, daycare centers, airport halls, but also in the Fraunhofer ITWM building. For different areas of application, there are different types of floorcoverings in numerous color variants, depending on the desired properties. The team analyzes and models the complex processes and develops an individual software solution for production planning in close coordination with nora employees.