The Ontology and Design Methodology for Hybrid Production Processes (Manufacturing and Assembly)
This Research Area developed a methodology for the design of hybrid manufacturing technologies. The methodology enables an efficient development of hybrid manufacturing technologies by means of knowledge integration from different technology domains. The development focused on hybrid manufacturing processes as a basic scope of hybrid technologies, which are characterised by the integration of mechanisms of action from different manufacturing processes. The results of the research contribute to the following research questions identified as relevant requirements of a methodology for hybrid technology developments:
- How can the limitations of manufacturing technologies be identified and described near the optimum of a single technology?
- How can the interrelations of process parameters be modelled in order to explain the limitations of a technology?
- How can integrative process solutions be generated by using cross-technology knowledge and how can they be assessed for the development of hybrid technologies?
In reference to the general research strategy of this Research Area, in the first step, the requirements for hybrid technology developments were derived inductively by empirical studies about hybrid technologies referring to the state of the art and expert interviews. On this basis, the methodology was developed deductively and validated by use cases from CoE project partners (e.g. by laser-assisted forming technologies).
The logical structure of the methodology was derived from the empirical studies about the requirements and in reference to general design methodologies in product development. The methodology is initiated by the limitations of a specific process, which can be formulated as the initial problem according to design theories. The limitations are analysed within descriptive and explanatory steps. Where potentials of hybridisation can be identified, hybrid solutions are generated and selected. Further, a method was developed to create explanatory models for the analysis of physical mechanisms, their effects and interrelations.The explanatory models enable an integration of different physical and heuristic models. They determine the cause-and-effect relations between process characteristics and the limitations of a technology. Thus the root causes of physical limitations and potential parameters can be identified in order to modify mechanisms through hybridisation. The models allow a cross-technological interpretation of the cause and effect relations as an integrative technology model. For the identification and design of hybrid solution concepts a design method was developed referring to morphological design approaches. Today’s known hybrid technologies were investigated in a broad review by CoE project partners from different technology domains. The mechanisms of actions from different hybrid technologies were explained and their principles of action were modelled for the purpose of technology knowledge transfer to other or even new hybrid processes. The methodology thus enables an efficient generation and assessment of hybrid manufacturing concepts, while combining mechanisms of actions and analysing the technological feasibility of technology integrations in terms of hybrid processes.
The ending research activities in this Research Area focussed on fundamental physical mechanisms of actions, based on broad theoretical investigations of different hybrid manufacturing processes. The specific application of hybrid technologies in terms of hybrid machines was examined and evaluation of economic aspects was performed as preparatory work with a view to a potential second funding period. In this period further methodology developments will be integrated within the Research Areas "Multi-Technology Production Systems" and "Multi-Technology Products".
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr-Ing. E.h. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. Fritz Klocke
Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL)
Chair of Manufacturing Technology
Steinbachstr. 19, D-52074 Aachen
Phone: +49 (0)241 80-27401 Fax: +49 (0)241 80-22359