The project partner TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH + Co.KG is the world market leader in the field of machine tool manufacturing for thin sheet laser processing. The development of these machine tools is largely based on existing mechanical and electrical modular kits. The existing modules are continuously enhanced in an environment of agile product development. Due to the increasing individualization of the customer market, the importance of specifically configurable functionalities and networking of machines is gaining strongly in relevance. This individualization and integration, which the company wants to sell to its customers, induces a new internal variety in the already existing, as well as the still to be developed product portfolio. Due to the mechatronic aspects, and also the integration of new business models and services, the necessary interactions between participating disciplines at the inter-disciplinary and cross-development level are increasing. Both software and electrical and control engineering are becoming increasingly important.
The objective of this project is to advance the capability of integrating interdisciplinary system architectures, related to the development of modular product families, by methodically modifying the existing modular architectures. This should enable the design of a cyber-physical mechatronic (CPM) modular kit and make it continuously adaptable. This CPM modular kit is to be adapted to an agile development environment by linking and harmonizing different perspectives, as well as methods and approaches.
Figure 1 shows the context of the project objective. The individual disciplines of the mechatronic system receive an increasingly leveled integration into the design of the modular system. Similarly, influencing factors that were previously handled externally, such as services and connectivity, receive increased integration Into the development of the variety-optimized and modular-structured system or kit.
To map a coherent and integrated understanding of the products and modular kits under consideration, the existing product architectures are modeled over several levels. Subsequently, both the modeled architectures and relationships as well as the existing systematics are analyzed. Based on the integrated modeling, this analysis reveals potentials and challenges of the existing architectures. This procedure is roughly visualized in Figure 2.
By looking at the discipline-specific sub-levels, the understanding of the product architecture is projected onto the system architectures. Thus, the modular kits and their interactions, as well as their influences and interfaces, can be mapped on an inter-disciplinary level. The integration of these connections of different subsystems in the software and hardware enable an extensive optimization of the Design of Variety. This is reflected as a result in terms of variant-optimized and inter-disciplinary system architectures.
Through system modeling, interactions between the components of the system architectures become evident. The interactions are analyzed and transferred to the overall system. Through the integrated consideration of several levels and different perspectives, the system architecture can be adapted to the requirements of a cyber-physical-mechatronic modular system and continuously designed through agile development methodologies.