The research focus of the Process Chains and Forming Units department concentrates on the technical and economic analysis of forming processes, the development of new units and processes as well as the optimization of production processes through the digitization of the process chain using artificial intelligence methods within the framework of industry 4.0. The main focus is on the machines, tools, and processes of forming technology.

The aim of digitized forming processes is to control uncertainties in complex value chains that consist of many individual processes. Here, it is necessary to understand interactions through appropriate analysis of the process chain, to derive process improvements and to apply data-driven approaches for optimization. In particular, the digitization of the process chain in combination with methods of artificial intelligence and machine learning represents a promising approach here. Therefore, various research groups at PtU are following the development of novel sensor concepts, the digitization of conventional forming processes, and the derivation of recommendations for action for the integration of artificial intelligence into industrial practice.

The aim of developing new machine and forming concepts is, against the background of increasingly complex sales markets, flexible production systems and increasing ecological and economic uncertainties, to develop machines and processes that can adapt to varying environmental conditions without tooling effort and to control product-specific properties inline. Therefore, various research groups at PtU are involved in the development, optimization and investigation of new process chains and machine concepts, the establishment of servo presses with multiple degrees of freedom, and the process-integrated property control of forming processes.

The aim of optimizing forming processes is to enhance their economic viability and resource efficiency. A holistic view of the value chain and thus the coupling between tool and machine as well as the final material or product properties requires new approaches in the technical and resource-saving design, development, and operation of forming processes. Therefore, various research groups at PtU are developing, optimizing, and investigating novel or existing process chains, considering sustainable and a scalable application in an industrial environment.