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AI based Production Planning

Ventilation unit manufacturer and family-owned company Westaflex is devoting itself to the pilot project ” AI-supported production planning” in the project AI marketplace together with the Fraunhofer IEM. This project focuses on production system development, especially workflow planning. The aim is to optimize the sequence planning of production orders with the help of AI. For this purpose, ERP data, real-time data from production and machine data are to be evaluated in order to extract hints for the optimal machine allocation and to use these findings for work planning.

The partners involved expect that AI-supported sequence planning will in particular optimize the useful output and thus increase the added value by saving time.

In the first step of the project, the requirements are defined and a use case from production is selected. The next step includes the analysis and determination of the relevant information. Here, processes are examined in terms of how work preparation staff heuristically form sequences of orders. The processes are documented in the form of information flow and data models.

Subsequently, a data platform is developed as a web-independent on-premise solution. Order data, resource data, process data, machine data, tool/maintenance data, logistical data, quality data and monetary data are merged on the data platform and prepared for the AI application. The data platform thus represents an IT infrastructure equipped with interfaces for the internal plant data and the data from the AI application. The solution found is coded and tested, optimized and validated with real data. The resulting prototype will continue to be tested and optimized in production after the project is complete.

For the AI marketplace, this project results in valuable competencies, solutions and building blocks in the field of production system development, from which other companies that have similar problems or goals can also benefit.