Digital Reconfig­urable Manufacturing

...of fiber composite components in a resilient manufacturing environment.


Dr.-Ing. Stefan Carosella

Institute of Aircraft Design / University of Stuttgart

Dr.-Ing. Stefan Carosella is an expert in fibre composite materials and manufacturing processes, as well as group leader for fibre composite technology at the Institute of Aircraft Design, University of Stuttgart.


A New Production Environment

DIREKT aims at developing a quickly reconfigurable, self-monitoring and sensor-supported production environment for components made of high-performance fiber composites.

Proactive production

Among other things, new, low-waste (target: max. 5% waste) lay-up methods for carbon fiber-based semi-finished products are used, as well as shape-adaptive tools whose geometry is automatically adapted to a digital model. This allows the cost-intensive lightweight material CFRP to be used in a resource-saving manner and new components to be produced directly from the digital workspace without the need to manufacture component-specific molding tools. The concrete goal here is the possibility to realize a new component geometry within one day. The integration of various sensors into the production environment allows the status of the system to be continuously monitored, thus providing early intervention possibilities. Whether errors have occurred in the production process and can be corrected directly, if necessary, is to be determined by direct data analysis near the data source (edge/fog computing), without time-consuming data transfers to the cloud. The characteristics of a complex production environment, to react robustly to disturbances and thus always work in an optimal range, is also called resilience. In the long term, a combination of digital production technology and shape-adaptive, automated manufacturing processes can be expected to significantly reduce product costs by at least 50% for small to medium quantities. This enables the production of customized components, short-term adjustments of the component geometry and the use of the lightweight material CFRP in a wide range of applications.

Leverage through links with collaborative projects

In terms of content, the project is closely linked to the joint projects of ARENA2036 in order to create a leverage effect:

The Digital Fingerprint project aims to establish an open data architecture of components along their entire life cycle. DIREKT is linked to the project via the use of data semantics for processing process- and product-specific component data.

The goal of the FlexCAR project is to build an open vehicle platform. DIREKT wants to implement demonstrator components and thus forms the link to FlexCAR.

Fluid Production wants to build a anthropocentric, cyperphysical production concept. DIREKT will be linked to FluPro via intelligent and fluid resource modules.

Expected results from DIREKT

Five precisely expected results were defined for the focus project:

  1. A virtual engineering environment for the flexible production system
  2. A system-enabled learning production system for the resilient production of high-performance fibre composites
  3. Three validated demonstrators
  4. Profitability, production concepts, strategies & scenarios of the future
  5. Implementation strategies and application scenarios of flexible production systems