The IPMT is a part of a large network comprising partners from research, industry and other organizations. The "Hamburger Gespräche" have become a traditional event where the newest findings in the field of production management are discussed.
The institute's partners mainly work in the aviation and ship building industry, including their extensive suppliers. Even though these industries need to be highlighted, the institute does not exclusively cooperate with them. Over the years, the IPMT has successfully cooperated on projects with partners from almost every industry.
In the field of production technology, process reliability takes a particularly important role. While the initial work concentrated on steel materials, a strategic reorientation has soon occured towards materials that are typically not related to machining with geometrical cutting edge. These materials comprise rubber, soft synthetic materials, carbide (as processed material), graphite, and the composite materials increasingly used in aircraft construction. In this context the successful work of Prof. Hintze needs to be highlighted. He joined the Institute in 1999 and intensified the research in production technology.
Through the advancements of computer technology, it was possible to build on the institute's earlier achievements and connect the CIM-world with the lean-world. Worth mentioning are topics like computer-based process modeling, workflow management, risk management, service management, competence management, simulation of production sequences and the application of virtual reality in the production process.
In the following, triggered by the keyword lean management, a new research focus followed under the title "Die Neue Fabrik" or "The new factory", where the use of computers was in the background at the beginning. Initally, the focus lied on the human factor in the production system, operational processes, continuous improvement, waste prevention and complexity optimization.
In the focus topic business organization, at first, computer-aided systems were dominant. The connection of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing was the beginning. With the integration of computer-aided planning, computer-aided quality assurance, production planning and control systems (PPC) and the development of expert systems, the development continued until the temporary peak was reached: computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM). Supported by the Ministry of Research and under the guidance of Prof. Nedeß, a CIM technology transfer center was created at the TUHH. The work of that time showed the possibilities as well as the limits of computers with research being significantly ahead of technology. At first, integration essentially meant system coupling with the associated problems via interfaces.
The Institute of Production Management and Technology that exists today was founded in 1982 (4 years after the founding of the TUHH) with emphasis on production technology, especially production planning with IT. With the appointment of Prof. Nedeß, the institute developed from the beginning two main focuses in research and teaching, namely "new shapes and means of company organization" and "machining in the production system". Both focuses were based on the scientific and professional career of the head of the institute.