Joint Project RobIN 4.0

Joint Project RobIN 4.0



Forming processes are among the most productive industrial manufacturing processes. Herewith large quantities can be produced of high-quality products within a short time, for example in the fields of automotive and medical engineering. The high level of productivity and the various applicability of the products make the metal forming a backbone of the manufacturing industry. However, the embedding of metal forming processes in the internal information and material flows have frequently significant gaps. In particular, networking with other planning and value creation is hardly the case in practice, see Figure [1]. Therefore the design of robust process chains is also in high fluctuating batch sizes and -features an extension of the information flows essential.

[1] Material and information flow in a conventional forming manufacturing
[1] Material and information flow in a conventional forming manufacturing


The project RobIN 4.0 is embedded in the field of “Smart Networking in production – a contribution to the future project “Industrial 4.0””. The aim of the project is to enable information flows parallel to the productive material flows to achieve a better process robustness and reliability in production.


Methodical approach

To increase the robustness of forming processes, three basic sub-goals are defined. At the beginning is the development of an appropriate sensor system, with which the process chain can be monitored. Another work package includes the collection, interpretation and use of the data obtained. The storage and preparation of data on individual processes or the entire process chain enables adaptive control of individual processes as well as the upstream and downstream processes. Additional is a targeted communication with external partners such as tool makers possible, see Figure [2]. As final result, a demonstrator is produced in which all sub-goals are combined in a model process chain.

[2] Overall process chain for the merging of the sub-goals
[2] Overall process chain for the merging of the sub-goals

Significant results

By dealing with the joint project various aspects of industry 4.0 are evident for manufacturing companies. On the one hand, a holistic digitalization of the value chain leads to an increased process understanding. At the same time the digitalization significantly increases the robustness of the processes. In turn, this leads to an economical benefit for the producers. On the other hand, the digitalization of processes allows to put existing experience values to the test and either quantify them with measurable values or reveal new findings. Within the framework of the collaborative project, correlations in the field of the operators were shown that were unknown at this time. The use of force signals for adaptive control systems within bending stages by using tool integrated actors and correlations between the bending angle and the measured forces signals are realized in the industrial environment. Furthermore, an analysis of inter-process relationships in mass forming is realized by central data processing. In both massive and sheet metal forming, fundamental aspects concerning the benefits of measuring technology have been identified. In general, the awareness of the measurement technology has emerged. Due to this, a structured procedure can be established for the integration of measuring chains into tools, presses or peripheral devices. It is this understanding and the realized connection between different IT technologies as well as between processes that leads to the basic prerequisites for further steps towards a networked production. At the same time it was shown that the implementation of industry 4.0 in the production is not as simple as flipping a switch. Industry 4.0 can be described as the result of a disciplined, long-term learning process in which a high degree of interdisciplinarity is required.

The following subprojects were concluded with special success:

  • Adaptive progressive die in the stamping production (Phoenix Feinbau, PtU)
  • Wear detection within cutting processes for a long-term use (Schwer + Kopka, Kistler, PtU)
  • Digital bolt production – Cross-process data usage in massive forming (Kamax, Schwer + Kopka, ISW, PtU)
  • Networking in tool making and traceability of process sequences (LS Mechanik, Kistler, PtU)
  • Adaptive user interfaces and automatic stroke adjustment as well as collision detection (H&T, ISG, ISW)
  • Process oriented Learning – Trainings for Industry 4.0 (GSU, PtU)

[3] Digitalized process chain for bolt production
[3] Digitalized process chain for bolt production


The PtU is grateful for the support of the joint project by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework concept “Research for Tomorrow’s Production” (funding number 02PJ2700) and managed by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). Furthermore, PtU is grateful to the following project partners for their pleasant and constructive cooperation:

  • Kistler Instrumente GmbH (Sindelfingen)
  • Industrielle Steuerungstechnik GmbH (Stuttgart)
  • H&T ProduktionsTechnologie GmbH (Crimmitschau)
  • KAMAX Automotive GmbH (Homberg Ohm)
  • LS-Mechanik GmbH (Alsfeld)
  • Institut für Steuerungstechnik der Werkzeugmaschinen und Fertigungsanlagen (ISW), Universität Stuttgart
  • PHOENIX FEINBAU GmbH & Co. KG (Lüdenscheid)
  • Schwer + Kopka GmbH (Weingarten)
  • GSU Schulungsgesellschaft für Stanz- und Umformtechnik mbH (Dortmund)
  • Kube GmbH Ingenieurbüro (Plochingen)

Moreover, not least thanks to the company Bruderer for providing a high-speed press BSTA 810 at the Institute for Production Engineering and Forming Machines.