German Research Foundation DFG funds research group led by Prof. Jürgen Beyerer
Making production processes that are still immature quickly usable with the help of artificial intelligence: This is the goal of an alliance of researchers from KIT and Fraunhofer IOSB, which has now been granted extensive funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) within the framework of the strategic AI funding initiative. This will help to further combine the research fields of AI and engineering in the context of industrial production and to advance the scientific activity in the newly opened Karlsruhe Research Factory.
As announced by the German Research Foundation (DFG), one of eight new research units in the field of artificial intelligence to receive funding is the "AI-based methodology for the rapid upgrading of immature production processes" group. The objective is described as follows: "Sophisticated processes are required for high-quality, cost-efficient production. Since experimentation has to be done in order to achieve this, development has been particularly costly up to now, especially when new materials and processes are used, the production process is highly complex, or no mature models are available. The systematic use of AI has the potential to be cheaper, faster and more efficient. "
The funded research unit will develop new solutions to leverage this potential and thus ensure faster industrialization and greater competitiveness. The spokesman of the research group, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Jürgen Beyerer, explains, "Simply put, we want to systematically instrument the immature processes with sensors and actuators so that an AI can learn relatively quickly how process parameters and outcome, i.e. product quality, are related. On this basis, we can regulate the processes even at this early stage so that good quality products are produced."
Learning the relationship between process parameters and product quality
Beyerer heads the Vision and Fusion Laboratory (IES) at the Faculty of Computer Science in Area II of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and is the managing director of the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty of Economics of KIT are also involved in the research group.
The "Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik" or Karlsruhe Research Factory for AI-integrated Production - a joint initiative of KIT and Fraunhofer - plays an important role in this undertaking, as it explicitly focuses on the upgrading of immature production processes, in addition to the optimization of established processes. Accordingly, the two KIT professors and other board members of the research factory, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Fleischer and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Henning, as well as the scientific director of the Karlsruhe Research Factory Dr.-Ing. Julius Pfrommer (Fraunhofer IOSB) are among the eight principal investigators of the research unit. The other PIs are: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Hanebeck, Dr.-Ing. Tobias Käfer, Dr.-Ing. Luise Kärger and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Neumann - the latter is deputy spokesman of the research unit.
Funding will be provided within the framework of the DFG's strategic artificial intelligence funding initiative, which is endowed with 90 million euros. The funding will initially run for four years; following a successful review, an extension for a further four years is planned.
DFG's original press release: