The alliance of nine Fraunhofer Institutes aims to discover/identify new technological concepts for shaping the future of production with their leading project "hierarchical swarms as production architecture with optimized utilization" ("SWAP"). The classical production process for goods right now involves the manufacturing and assembling (of the item/good/commodity) at individual processing stations in a defined process order.
The objective of this leading project is to create the basis for a manufacturing environments that include modular manufacturing units which collaborate similar or different tools, machines or vehicles in swarms. These swarms work together (partially) autonomously for production purposes. The core concept is a hierarchical swarm as extension of the "classical swarm principle" already used in production.
For this project, the competencies of the Fraunhofer Groups for Production, Light and Surfaces and ICT Group are combined. Therewith, ten Fraunhofer Institutes are working on four industry-relevant use cases under the project management of Prof. Dr. Welf-Guntram Drossel and Prof. Dr. Andreas Tünnermann.
Beneficial (and value adding) factors for the (usage in the) industry include(, among others,) the contraction of manufacturing process chains through, for example, adding new additive manufacturing processes, by breaking up the previous rigid sequence of production steps influenced by numerous factors.