ORSOFT cooperates in terms of research and development with the Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, the University Leipzig and the Technical University Dresden. Objectives are the APS and SCM systems to come, explored in a series of research projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The Project RealTime SCM, together with the universities Halle and Leipzig, will set the foundation for real-time strategic scheduling based on in-memory systems. It is necessary to innovate these systems, because today’s value chains with their highly dynamic conditions (e.g. resource prices, currency rates, demand fluctuations, clustering) depend on a better, more accurate and faster scheduling than in the past.
Current ERP and SCM systems are transactional and hierarchically organized; scheduling is executed sequentially. These systems do not meet the requirements of real-time principles (response in defined time), even if the "R" in SAP R/3 stood for "real-time".
There were technical limitations when these existing systems were designed that are reflected in the systems’ concepts for operations and planning. These limitations do not exist anymore, which allow fundamental changes beyond system architecture. The objective is not only to just speed up the existing features, but to allow very different types of operation in order to achieve more interactivity, simulation and production overview.
The ERP systems to come will provide more accurate and reliable information that will be updated and synchronized on a rolling basis across several roles within a short response time.
Innovative and interactive controls directly on the line
Factory management must be able to detect conflicts from afar, having all important issues in sight at a glance, and operating steps need to be executable via touch or gesture control.
One focus of research was the combination of innovative user interfaces and hardware with the aim of being able to quickly configure individual physical control stands – COMPOSITIONAL CONTROL DISPLAYS (CoCoDi). Touch monitor walls, combined with input devices such as control dials, knobs, cameras etc. and audio visual output devices (e.g. signal lights and speakers), are configurable solutions that are suitable for the application at the production line.
These forward the planning information from ORSOFT solutions directly in the foreman’s area and create a level of interaction as needed for this area.
The research project MindMap APS focuses on user guidance and user-friendly operation techniques, based on user interfaces which adopt principles of search engines and are designed processually and zoomably. ORSOFT´s project partners are the universities of Halle and Dresden.
Results were prototypes for workflow control and solutions which – due to seamless integration with the ERP system – no longer need a displayed user interface of the control stand. These achievements have been transferred into applications.