The Institute of Production Research consists of 10 departments and thus covers a wide range of different research competencies in the field of materials science and production engineering.
Along the entire product-oriented value chain, more than 70 scientists deal with current issues in the fields of lightweight construction, microstructural material design, metallurgy and materials technology, joining and welding technology, construction and manufacturing, automation technology, industrial information technology, quality management, occupational sciences and industrial psychology as well as production administration.
In the field of materials science, selected research projects deal, for example, with the cross-sectoral development of energy- and material-efficient lightweight construction solutions and associated manufacturing technologies. From the initial idea to the design of functional models and the technical implementation of complex technology demonstrators, research activities focus on design, simulation and prototype production. Furthermore, microstructural material design is investigated by analysing modern metallic and intermetallic high-performance materials and the associated manufacturing and characterisation methods. The focus is on -TiAl- and cobalt-based superalloys for high-temperature applications in aircraft engines, automotive engineering and power generation. Other important areas of research include the process development for forming and joining, simulation techniques for innovative components, new materials and material combinations, and the investigation of the service life and component safety of materials.
In the field of production and manufacturing, issues of planning, organising, controlling and monitoring modern value added systems are discussed. In this context, the whole range from strategic to operational topics is covered. Apart from the design of lightweight components and the development of technologies for their production, sheet metal and solid forming as well as flexible manufacturing processes are other key areas of activity. A fundamental principle of this work is the holistic approach to design, production and materials technology. With regard to Industry 4.0, the field of automation technology currently focuses on the intelligent factory. The areas of human-robot cooperation, adaptable factory systems, augmented reality and mobile machine tools are of particular interest. In connection with the planning and organisation of modern computer- and technology-supported work processes, technological stress in human-machine interfaces is examined from the perspective of occupational sciences and industrial psychology Further research priorities are planning, organisation and software development tasks in combination with modelling, automation and control of production processes and logistic material flows. These areas cover the entire product life cycle, from product innovation through product manufacturing to recycling. This comprises economic and technological aspects as well as quality management, which is becoming more and more important in the course of increasing systematisation and certification. The interdisciplinary research of the production chain with all technical, economical, logistic and human concerns is of central importance.