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ZAFH Digitaler Produktlebenszyklus (DiP)

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Das Zentrum für angewandte Forschung „Digitaler Produktlebenszyklus“ (DiP) überträgt die extrem leistungsfähigen Ansätze der Hard- und Softwareentwicklung (u.A. die Unified Modellig Language UML) und adaptiert diese auf weite Bereiche des Maschinenbaus und der Fahrzeugtechnik. Dabei kann das Projektteam auf ein Engineering-Framework zurückgreifen, das auf graphen-basierten Entwurfssprachen und der UML beruht und einen komplett maschinell ausführbaren Prozess ermöglicht. Heutige Ingenieursarbeit ist geprägt durch eine Vielfalt von Rechnerwerkzeugen (CAD, CAE, PDM, …) zahlreichen Schnittstellen, umfangreicher Modellierungs- und Konvertierungsarbeit und inkonsistenten Datenstrukturen. Das ZAFH erforscht und entwickelt rozesse, Methoden, Werkzeuge und Bibliotheken für produzierende Industrieunternehmen, indem wir den gesamten Produktlebenszyklus mit allen relevanten produkt-, prozess- und ressourcenbezogenen Daten in ein digitales Gesamtmodell integrieren.


Übersicht über Projektstruktur

Das ZAFH ist mit künftigen Fördermitteln ausgestattet, die zu einem Drittel aus Mitteln des Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) kommen und zu zwei Dritteln durch das Land Baden-Württemberg bestritten werden.


Publikationen 2020

M. Friedrich, W. Fichter
AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum


This work addresses the problem of modeling a large multicopter with any rotation axis of any number of propellers, with the aim of presenting a framework for simulating the equations of motion for random multicopter configuration with taking the interaction of the fuselage and the propellers into account. While many validation models for controller design neglect the interaction of the propellers and the fuselage, this work shows that for an increasing moment of inertia of the propeller the effects of the propeller dynamics have a huge impact on the closed loop performance of the overall control system. Especially for the design of manned systems, the effects of inertial forces of the propellers acting on the whole system can not be neglected and has therefore been taken into consideration in this work.

M. Ramsaier, R. Stetter, M. Till, S. Rudolph
Proceedings of the Design Society: DESIGN Conference


This paper presents a novel approach to include a holistic description of abstract physics in a digital engineering framework. Physical phenomena realize the numerous functions of technical systems and are an important link between rather abstract product functions and the concrete product geometry and material. Until now, a possibility to integrate the analysis and synthesis on this level of abstraction into a holistic engineering frameworks is not existing. The novel approach employs graph-based design languages using UML for this endeavour; the product example is a two-wheel scooter

Publikationen 2019

Manuel Ramsaier, Markus Till, Axel Schumacher, Stephan Rudolph
The World Congress of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, May 20-24, 2019


The paper describes a physics based reconstruction algorithm for the generation of clean, parametric, beam like native CAD structures from density based topology optimization (TO) results. As an algorithmic key element in this process, a physics based stress tensor criteria available from density based TO results is used in the automated TO result interpretation process. In the fully automated reconstruction process to clean parametric native CAD models , this criterion enables a fully automated clustering of density based TO results based on the local stress tensor values The complete process chain of algorithms works with almost any arbitrary topology optimization algorithm capable to return a stress density field and the stress tensor field distribution for further processing. For the reconstruction algorithm the use of a central data model for both the definition of the TO model and the reconstruction of the TO result is proposed. This allows to solve the topology interpretation problem using a model based approach. The resulting internal model of the identified parametric topology of the beam like structures is finally converted into a clean, parametric CAD model in the native format of a target CAD kernel using model to text transformations. Keywords: density based topology optimization, reconstruction of topology optimization native CAD models , parametric CAD models

Manuel Ramsaier, Theresa Breckle, Markus Till, Stephan Rudolph, Axel Schumacher
13th CIRP International Conference on
17 – 19 July 2019, Ischia, Naples, Italy


In a market-driven economy, the availability of an evaluation of the manufacturability cost and economic efficiency right on from the early design phase is a competitive advantage. For this reason, a methodology is proposed in this work which enhances the planning capabilities and efficiency by automatic provision of steel constructions with manufacturing plans, cost calculation and evaluation in the early phase. To achieve this, the design process of steel structures is enhanced with aspects from the cost-domain and the manufacturing-domain. Furthermore, digital tools and methods of modern software engineering are applied to classical engineering design in order to handle increased product complexity and save design time in shortened product life-cycles. As a solution approach, so-called graph-based design languages are used and evaluated by means of steel construction examples.

T. Breckle; J. Kiefer; F. Wünsch
Ingenieurspiegel, Ausgabe August 2019
ISSN: 1868-5919

T. Breckle; M. Kiesel; J. Kiefer; N. Beisheim
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2019.02.059 


Within product development process data and information management is an essential task. Data and information are generated at every stage of this process and stored in software tools used to generate that data. For large scale manufacturing systems this leads to manual work, which is error-prone. This issue intensifies due to increasing influence of computer science on those systems (e.g. Industrie 4.0), leading to a rise of complexity. New approaches are needed for a better information flow.

This contribution introduces an approach of an evolving Digital Factory containing and visualizing all generated information based on an open standard meta model.

C. Schlueter, T. Breckle, J. Kiefer, R. Stetter
Proceedings of the COMA 19
ISBN: 978-0-7972-1779-9


Contemporary product design processes are becoming increasingly fast-moving and volatile, thus more agile planning concepts are needed. Modern planning tasks for layout design purposes are performed by trained planning personal and supported by software tools. It is of interest to examine how a planning approach based on graph-based design languages can be implemented in a concept planning environment. The main idea was to establish an autonomous design language, which is able to create production lines as well as shop floor manufacturing systems for larger production scales. This paper proposes a method that supports the design process for manufacturing and assembly layouts in an automated way. Structured data input (from product, process, resource and organizational levels) is used to generate material flow-based manufacturing layouts with the help of graph-based design languages. Within the mapped process, in- and outputs have been set in a way that keeps human interference to a minimum. While the layout optimization process is done manually, layout structuring and dimensioning are done by the prior mentioned design language. Subsequently, the design language evaluates each solution through the comparison of several cost factors (e.g. machine hour rate, fixed and variable costs). This way, an optimized result for layout purposes is achieved. The method is verified by application on a use case in which an assembly layout for a self-balancing two-wheel scouter is planned.

Kevin Holder, Stephan Rudolph, Ralf Stetter, Corinna Salander
Forschung im Ingenieurwesen Engineering Research
Print ISSN: 0015-7899
Elektronische ISSN: 1434-0860


In order to best match individual customer requirements in gearbox applications, customer-tailored gearboxes are a desirable solution. That leads to the demand for a truly individualized product development. In order to keep costs down despite an increasing product variability, novel digital design methods which automate the design process and avoid redundant manual work need to be developed and deployed. Graph-based design languages in UML (Unified Modeling Language) use a central data model to guarantee model consistency and to generate automatically multi-disciplinary models and simulations thereof.

The paper shows the use of graph-based design languages for automated gear synthesis and the automated three dimensional arrangement of gearset parts. The aim of this language is to generate the gearset including the gear calculation. The calculation automation is supported with the domain-specific synthesis tool GAP (‘Getriebe Auslegungs Programm’). The resulting gearset is then packaged into a given design space provided as one of the customer requirements. The package problem is the subject of several boundary conditions and for this reasons normally multiple solutions do exist. Therefore, optimization methods are used in the following to select the final three-dimensional arrangement. The current state of the gear system model also includes a fully parametric CAD housing.

The approach shown in this paper can be extended to the entire product life cycle, also including domain-specific and already established software solutions. Finally, the opportunity is present to include further product assessments like a cost calculation and a first reliability check of the system. The authors are aware of the fact that this fully automated process is currently still restricted to a specific class of product design problems such as gears and gearbox design.

Andreas Zech, Ralf Stetter, Markus Till
CIRP COMA ‘19 International Conference on COMPETITIVE MANUFACTURING 30 January – 01 February 2019, Stellenbosch University,  South Africa


This paper is concerned with a systematic optimization framework for preparing and supporting design space exploration for products and manufacturing systems. In contrast to other publications which concern design space exploration this research literally deals with the design space, i.e. a certain volume within which a certain product, product component or manufacturing system can be realized. Such design spaces are very common in modular design, as remaining spaces my already be taken be predetermined modules of a modular technical system. Very often engineers need to develop product components with certain required characteristics and functions within a given volume. A specific support for this kind of product development task is not addressed in current design science. This paper seeks to explain a possible framework for a systematic analysis and representation of important aspects for this specific task in product development. A product example is used for explanation: an automotive bonnet (front hood) together with its manufacturing processes. The exemplary framework was realized using graph-based languages which employ the unified modelling language (UML) for a holistic digital representation of products as well as manufacturing and assembly processes and systems. Such languages were developed in recent years into a powerful tool for product development engineers and production planners; they offer several synergies and advantages for design space exploration. The digital generation of the bonnet starts with requirements (such as global stiffness or head injury criterion (HIC)) and functions (such as open/close). The available design space is defined by interface lines and areas. A reinforcement structure of the bonnet (consisting e.g. of struts and junctions) is automatically generated within this given design space using techniques based on coulomb repulsive forces and voronoi diagrams. The result is realized digitally using an interface to a commercial cad modelling system. The automated process allows holistic optimization processes.

Andreas Zech, Ralf Stetter, Stephan Rudolph, Markus Till
INGENIEURSPIEGEL 3, Seite 33, Public Verlagsgesellschaft und  Anzeigenagentur mbH 2019, Bingen, Germany


Im Zentrum dieses Beitrags steht die automatisierte Generierung einer Produktgeometrie sowie der zugehörigen Montageprozesse und Montageressourcen (z.B. typgebundene Produktionsmittel wie Spannvorrichtungen und Rohbauprozessgreifer) am Beispiel von Karosseriebauteilen (Frontklappe und B-Säule). Ziel ist die vollständige digitale Abbildung und maschinelle Ausführbarkeit des Produktlebenszyklus. Das bedeutet konkret: es sollen alle Stationen, angefangen vom Entwurf eines Produkts über die grundlegende Architektur und Geometrie, die Simulation und Validierung, die Produktion in der digitalen Fabrik und die übergreifende Kosten- und Energiebilanzierung in ein konsistentes digitales Gesamtmodell integriert werden.

Andreas Zech, Ralf Stetter, Kevin Holder, Stephan Rudolph, Markus Till


Scope of this research is a holistic, completely digital representation of product development processes. The proposed process is implemented by graph-based design languages based on diagrams of Unified-Modelling-Language. The unique approach allows an automatic generation and evaluation of multiple product variants and is illustrated by the development and evaluation of an automotive bonnet. One main research objective is the investigation of model-based integration of an optimization loop and adaptation of the synthesis process based on results of evaluation steps. It was possible to use results of multiple finite-element simulation for fully automated adaptation of inner structure of the automotive bonnet.

Ralf Stetter, Andreas Zech, Stephan Rudolph, Robert Bjekovic, Markus Till
Stuttgarter Tagung zur ZUKUNFT DER AUTOMOBILPRODUKTION 26.  September 2019, Stuttgart, Germany


Im Mittelpunkt des Beitrags steht daher beispielhaft die automatisierte Generierung einer Produktgeometrie sowie der zugehörigen Montageprozesse und Montage-ressourcen (z.B. typgebundene Produktionsmittel wie Spannvorrichtungen und Rohbauprozessgreifer) am Beispiel von Automobil-Karosseriebauteilen (Frontklappe und B-Säule). Im Rahmen der Fertigungsplanung werden über graphenbasierte Entwurfssprachen Spannbaugruppen mit parametrisierten Komponenten erzeugt. Dabei erfolgt auf Basis des im Produktentwurf definierten Fertigungskonzeptes eine Fügefolge- und Verbindungselementeplanung, aus derer sich die Ableitung eines produktspezifischen Spann- und Fixierkonzeptes ergibt. Zentraler Vorteil der Vorgehensweise ist neben der weitgehenden Automatisierbarkeit die Möglichkeit der Bereitstellung einer konsistenten Datenbasis, von welcher Daten für die verschiedenen, spezialisierten Engineering-Werkzeuge automatisiert abgeleitet werden können.

Ralf Stetter, Jens Kiefer, M. Witczak, Markus Till
Proceedings of the International Conference on Competitive Manufacturing (COMA 19), Stellenbosch University: 2019, pp. 539 – 544

Michael Elwert, Manuel Ramsaier, Boris Eisenbart, Ralf Stetter
Proceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design / Volume 1 / Issue 1, Cambridge University Press: 26 July 2019, pp. 1523-1532


Graph-based design languages offer a promising approach to address several major issues in engineering, e. g. the laborious manual transfer between CAD and CAE. Such languages generate a digital meta- or system model storing all relevant information about a design and feed this into any relevant CAE tool as needed to simulate and test the impact of any design variation on the resulting product performance. As this can be automated in digital compilers to perform systematic design variation for an almost infinite amount of parameters, such graph-based languages are a powerful means to generate viable design alternatives and thus permit fast evaluations. To leverage the full potential of graph-based design languages, possibilities are presented to expand their applicability into the domain of product functions. This possibilities allow to cohesively link integrative function modelling to product structures. This intends to close the gap between the early, abstract stages and the systematic, concrete design generation and validation with relevant CAE tools. In this paper, the IFM Framework was selected as integrated function model to be linked with the graph- based design languages.

Publikationen 2018

Matthias Friedrich, Walter Fichter 2018 AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference


This work presents a dimensionless approach for a performance analysis of a general electric multi-rotor aircraft with the aim of optimizing the mass ratio of the structure mass and the battery mass for achieving maximal flight time. A review of established approaches for performance analysis of flight vehicles operated by a rotor reveals, that the drivetrain is mostly disregarded in this kind of analysis. Furthermore, the equations of interest were only examined in their dimensionless form to some extend, in most cases this examination relates to the rotor only. Thus, it is impossible to give a general statement about the flight performance for a rotor driven aircraft. Based on these considerations, a dimensionless representation of the performance equations considering the whole aircraft were derived. Furthermore, an analytic solution for the mass ratio for maximal flight time is derived based on the dimensionless equations. This makes it possible to give a general statement about the design of the energy supply of the drivetrain for all electric rotor driven aircrafts.


Jens Kiefer, Theresa Breckle, Ralf Stetter, Martin Manns 51st CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems


This paper illustrates a new engineering approach in the field of digital production planning using graph-based design languages. After introducing the overall process of graph-based production engineering, this contribution presents its most important characteristics. In a first step, the general concept of design languages is introduced; afterwards, its profitable application in the context of digital assembly planning is clarified. Apart from methodical issues, information-technical and organizational aspects are discussed. By means of a concrete use case – assembly planning of a self-balancing two-wheel scooter – both the procedure and extensive advantages of the new planning approach are demonstrated.

Jens Kiefer, Ralph Stetter, Stephan Rudolph, Markus Till
Ingenieurspiegel 3 / 2018, S. 47 – 49

Manuel RamsaierRalf Stetter, Markus Till, Stephan Rudolph
EngOpt 2018 Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Engineering Optimization, Springer: 2018, pp. 789 -800.

Dominik Schopper, Stephan Rudolph
ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, 2018, Quebec City, Kanada


Most modern digital approaches to engineering are based on models and their model transformations. Most of these model transformations are mathematically speaking non-bijective mappings – so-called projections – where some information of the original model is lost during the mapping. From a theoretical point of view it is therefore of great interest to exactly examine the properties of these model transformations. In this paper at first the characteristics of a model are briefly explained. Then some of the most common model-based engineering approaches are reviewed and compared regarding their models and model transformations. In this examination the missing existence of an inverse transformation (a so-called text-to-model transformation, T2M) of a typical model transformation (a so-called model- to-text transformation, M2T) is identified. That discovery may well hold the key to the realization of a so-called round-trip engineering. The required existence of the inverse transformation to this round-trip engineering is then generically postulated as having the nature of a pattern recognition problem. For illustration purposes and a better understanding of the interpretation of the inverse transformation as a pattern recognition problem, a case study for the reconstruction of an abstract model from the concrete model is given using CAD-Data of a satellite. Since CAD models belong to geometry, dimensionless geometric moment invariants play a key role in the generic solution of the pattern recognition problem contained in this example

Samuel Vogel, Stephan Rudolph
arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1805.09111


Graph-based design languages in UML (Unified Modeling Language) are presented as a method to encode and automate the complete design process and the final optimization of the product or complex system. A design language consists of a vocabulary (digital building blocks) and a set of rules (digital composition knowledge) along with an executable sequence of the rules (digital encoding of the design process). The rule-based mechanism instantiates a central and consistent global product data structure (the so-called design graph). Upon the generation of the abstract central model, the domain-specific engineering models are automatically generated, remotely executed and their results are fed-back into the central design model for subsequent design decisions or optimizations. The design languages are manually modeled and automatically executed in a so-called design compiler. Up to now, a variety of product designs in the areas of aerospace, automotive, machinery and consumer products have been successfully accelerated and automated using graph-based design languages. Different design strategies and mechanisms have been identified and applied in the automation of the design processes. Approaches ranging from the automated and declarative processing of constraints, through fractal nested design patterns, to mathematical dimension-based derivation of the sequence of design actions are used. The existing knowledge for a design determines the global design strategy (top-down vs. bottom-up). Similarity-mechanics in the form of dimensionless invariants are used for evaluation to downsize the solution for an overall complexity reduction. Design patterns, design paradigms (form follows function) and design strategies (divide and conquer) from information science are heavily used to structure, manage and handle complexity.

Fabian Wünsch, Manuel Ramsaier, Theresa Breckle, Ralf Stetter, Markus Till Stephan Rudolph 15th International Design Conference http://dx.doi.org/10.21278/idc.2018.0409 


This paper deals with the integration of cost considerations into the technological design process of a product. As an example serves a self-balancing two-wheel scooter. The design process of that scooter is expanded with aspects from the cost-domain so that the design can be enhanced with economic knowledge. Methods of modern software engineering are applied onto classical engineering. For this purpose so called graph-based design languages are used. Through the representation as an UML-model, the realization of interfaces to antecedent and subsequent systems can be eased.

Publikationen 2017

Kevin Holder, Andreas Zech,Manuel RamsaierRalf Stetter, Hans-Peter Niedermeier,Stephan Rudolph, Markus Till



For several decades, a wide-spread consensus concerning the enormous importance of an in-depth clarification of the specifications of a product has been observed. A weak clarification of specifications is repeatedly listed as a main cause for the failure of product development projects. Requirements, which can be defined as the purpose, goals, constraints, and criteria associated with a product development project, play a central role in the clarification of specifications. The collection of activities which ensure that requirements are identified, documented, maintained, communicated, and traced throughout the life cycle of a system, product, or service can be referred to as “requirements engineering”. These activities can be supported by a collection and combination of strategies, methods, and tools which are appropriate for the clarification of specifications. Numerous publications describe the strategy and the components of requirements management. Furthermore, recent research investigates its industrial application. Simultaneously, promising developments of graph-based design languages for a holistic digital representation of the product life cycle are presented. Current developments realize graph-based languages by the diagrams of the Unified Modelling Language (UML), and allow the automatic generation and evaluation of multiple product variants. The research presented in this paper seeks to present a method in order to combine the advantages of a conscious requirements management process and graph-based design languages. Consequently, the main objective of this paper is the investigation of a model-based integration of requirements in a product development process by means of graph-based design languages. The research method is based on an in-depth analysis of an exemplary industrial product development, a gear system for so-called “Electrical Multiple Units” (EMU). Important requirements were abstracted from a gear system specification list and were analyzed in detail. As a second basis, the research method uses a conscious expansion of graph-based design languages towards their applicability for requirements management. This expansion allows the handling of requirements through a graph-based design language model. The first two results of the presented research consist of a model of the gear system and a detailed model of requirements, both modelled in a graph-based design language. Further results are generated by a combination of the two models into one holistic model.

Samuel Vogel, Peter Arnold https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.07204v1


The ongoing digital transformation in industry applies to all product life cycle’s stages. The design decisions and dimensioning carried out in the early conceptual design stages determine a huge part of the product’s life cycle costs (LCC). The automation of the conceptual design phase promises therefore huge gains in terms of LCC. Design grammars encode design processes in production systems made up of rule sequences which automatically create an abstract central product model (central data model) from given requirements. Graph-based design languages use the Unified-Modeling-Language (UML) to define the product entities (classes) supporting object-oriented inheritance. Graphical rules instantiate the classes and iteratively assemble the central model. This paper proposes to extend the design languages by introducing methods (operations). This allows the use of object-oriented design patterns and interface mechanisms as object-oriented principles are then fully implemented. A graphical mechanism to model the method calls is presented which integrates seamlessly into the graph-based design language’s graphical rule specification. The object oriented design grammar enables modularization and reusability of engineering knowledge. The integration of engineering domains is enhanced and multistakeholder collaboration with access control (information security) becomes feasible.

Kevin Holder, Andreas Zech, Ralf Stetter, Markus Till ASIM-Treffen STS/GMMS 2017 Erschienen in: ASIM-Treffen STS/GMMS 2017, Tagungsband/Hrsg.: Walter Commerell u.a., ISBN: 978-3-901608-50-6


Das Konzept graphenbasierter Entwurfssprachen hat sich in den letzten zehn Jahren in ein generisches Engineering Framework für die Definition und automatisierte Ausführung von computergestützten Entwurfsprozessen weiterentwickelt. In diesem Engineering Framework stellen die Ingenieurobjekte (Produktmodelle, etc.) den Wortschatz dar; die erforderlichen Modelltransformationen stellen die Regeln, d.h. die Grammatik der Designsprache, dar. Vokabeln und Regeln werden in einem sogenannten „Produktionssystem“ verknüpft. Durch einen speziell entwickelten Compiler (Design Compiler 43™) werden die Regeln ausgeführt, um die Klassen mit den Vokabeln zu instanziieren. Dieser Kompilierungsprozess baut das zentrale Datenmodell auf. Von diesem zentralen Datenmodell aus generieren verschiedene Schnittstellen domänenspezifische, generische Modelle wie Geometrie-Modelle oder Simulationsmodelle. Eine zentrale Herausforderung bei der Entwicklung von Fahrzeuggetrieben ist die durchgängige Abbildung des Getriebeentwurfs ausgehend von den Fahrzeugparametern bis zur detaillierten Dimensionierung der Maschinenelemente. In diesem Artikel wird beschrieben, wie auf der Basis der wichtigsten Fahrzeugparameter ein Getriebegrobentwurf mittels graphenbasierter Entwurfssprachen abgebildet werden kann. Die Entwurfssprache setzt dabei die Teilschritte der Getriebesynthese mit Analyse und Bewertung um und ermöglicht das schnelle Untersuchen von Getriebevarianten. Zentrales Element stellt dabei die in UML modellierte Entwurfssprache dar.

Manuel Ramsaier, Ralf Stetter, Markus Till ASIM-Treffen STS/GMMS 2017 Erschienen in: ASIM-Treffen STS/GMMS 2017, Tagungsband/Hrsg.: Walter Commerell u.a., ISBN: 978-3-901608-50-6


Graphenbasierte Entwurfssprachen sind eine neue Sichtweise auf die ganzheitliche Beschreibung von Produkten, die sich am Aufbau natürlicher Sprachen orientiert, in welcher Vokabeln und Regeln eine Grammatik bilden. In Verbindung mit graphenbasierten Entwurfssprachen steht mittlerweile ein leistungsfähiges Engineering-Framework zur Verfügung, das auf maschinelle Abarbeitung und Wiederverwendung von Entwurfs- und Fertigungswissen abzielt und den Produktentwickler durch automatische Modellgenerierung und Berechnungsautomation von Routinearbeiten entlastet. Der Beitrag beschreibt den Einsatz einer solchen Entwurfssprache für die Auslegung eines Rahmens für ein Formula Student Rennfahrzeug. Im Reglement der Formula Student werden gewisse Lastfälle vorgegeben. Durch die Abbildung der Rahmengeometrie in einer Entwurfssprache ist es möglich, automatisiert einen digitalen Funktionsnachweis zu führen. Im vorliegenden Projekt wurde ein bestehender Rahmen in einer Entwurfssprache abgebildet und automatisiert mittels Finiter Elemente Methode (FEM) und Mehrkörpersimulation (MKS) hinsichtlich der Lastfälle im Reglement untersucht. Ein großer Vorteil der Implementierung eines Modells in der Entwurfssprache besteht in der Flexibilität: Die Knotenpunkte des Rahmens können annähernd beliebig im Raum verschoben werden, die Rohrtopologie kann geändert werden und generelle Kennwerte wie Torsions- und Biegesteifigkeit können automatisiert neu berechnet werden. Somit ist eine automatisierte Exploration des Entwurfsraums möglich.

Markus Kiesel, Nicolai Beisheim, Theresa Breckle ASIM-Treffen STS/GMMS 2017 Erschienen in: ASIM-Treffen STS/GMMS 2017, Tagungsband/Hrsg.: Walter Commerell u.a., ISBN: 978-3-901608-50-6


Industrie 4.0 basierte Produktionssysteme werden die Produktionsprozesse von morgen maßgeblich beeinflussen. Die Bedeutung der Informationstechnologie auf die Produktion wird wachsen und bietet somit die Möglichkeit Produktionssysteme flexibler zu gestalten. Jedoch steigt dadurch auch die Komplexität der Systeme. Um trotz allem solide Systeme entwickeln zu können wird die Simulation einzelner Aspekte bis hin zur Gesamtsimulation zwingend notwendig. Simulationen welche zur Absicherung der Software dienen werden wegen des gestiegenen Einflusses folglich vermehrt erforderlich, hier ist vor allem die virtuelle Inbetriebnahme zu nennen. Die Hürde um die virtuelle Inbetriebnahme einzusetzen ist derzeit jedoch sehr hoch, da meist eine große Datenbank an Standardkomponenten erforderlich ist. Darüber hinaus ist der Aufbau der Modelle zusätzlich mit einem hohen Anteil an händischer Arbeit verbunden, daher wird in den meisten Fällen höchstens ein Modell aufgebaut. Falls sich anschließend die Änderungen am Systems ergeben, werden diese in der Regel nicht mehr übertragen. Graphenbasierte Entwurfssprachen können durch die Automatisierung der Modellerstellung dabei helfen diese Hürde zu überwinden. Dabei wird ein abstraktes Modell des zu entwerfenden Produktionssystems angefertigt, welches anschließen auf die domänenspezifischen Anwendungen abgebildet werden kann. Falls Änderungen des Systems auftreten, lässt sich das domänenspezifische Modell automatisiert regenerieren.

Theresa Breckle, Jens Kiefer, Markus Kiesel, Martin Manns ASIM-Treffen STS/GMMS 2017 Erschienen in: ASIM-Treffen STS/GMMS 2017, Tagungsband/Hrsg.: Walter Commerell u.a., ISBN: 978-3-901608-50-6


Produzierende Unternehmen unterliegen einem kontinuierlichen und zum Teil fundamentalen Wandel. Be-reits heute stehen diese Unternehmen unter einem immer stärker zunehmenden Zeitdruck, einem anhalten-denden Kostendruck, und gleichzeitig steigt die Komplexität der Produkte und Prozesse. Für Unternehmen, deren Kernkompetenz Montageprozesse sind, ist daher ein Ansatz, mit dem schneller bessere und nachhal-tigere Ergebnisse bei der Planung von Montagesystemen erzielen zu können, erforderlich. In diesem Beitrag wird die Idee eines innovativen Ansatzes für einen automatisierten Entwurfsprozess, der die Konzeptphase von Montagesystemen umfasst, dargestellt. Die Berücksichtigung von unterschiedlichen Eingangsgrößen (z. B. die Produktstruktur) und Anforderungen (z. B. wirtschaftliche oder technische) an die Auslegung ei-nes Montagesystems, sind wesentliche Elemente, um ein eine ganzheitliche Gestaltung unter Berücksichti-gung aller relevanten Eingangsgrößen zu erzielen. Häufig sind diese Eingangsgrößen mit Unsicherheiten behaftet, die es ebenfalls in der Modellierung zu berücksichtigen gilt. Als ein möglicher Ansatz für eine effiziente und schnelle Planung mit Hilfe einer wissensbasierten Entwurfsmethode ist der Einsatz von graphenbasierten Entwurfssprachen. Durch die wis-sensbasierte Entwurfsmethode kann ein digitales und regelbasiert ausführbares Abbild des Entwurfsprozes-ses dargestellt werden. Dabei wird das Entwurfswissen in Form von Regeln und Vokabeln abgelegt. In ei-nem Engineering-Framework wird dieses ausgeführt und ein zentrales Modell erzeugt. Durch den automati-sierten Entwurfsprozess können dann vollautomatisch weitere Modelle (z. B. in domänenspezifischen An-wendungen) erzeugt werden, die anschließend validiert, bewertet oder im Entwurfsprozess weiterverarbeitet werden können.

Manuel Ramsaier, Ralf Stetter, Markus Till, Stephan Rudolph, Axel Schumacher 12th World Congress of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimisation (WCSMO12) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317385658_Automatic_Definition_of_density-driven_Topology_Optimization_with_graph-based_Design_Languages


Today, the product development process is characterized by its diversity. A trend towards customer-tailored products can be observed. This trend demands new processes for product development and manufacturing. Increasing product individuality up to lot size one can be faced by methods, which automate the design process and avoid redundant manual work. As the number of tools involved in the product development process is ever-increasing, one goal is to eliminate the distribution of knowledge into several software tools and begin with one central data model, which is consistent and from where all the used software tools can be automatically triggered. This goal can be addressed by using graph-based design languages, which are based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML). On the manufacturing side one technology for mass-customization can be seen in the additive manufacturing process. For finding the right structure, a combination of additive manufacturing and topology optimization can be advantageous because of the ability of additive manufacturing to create almost arbitrary geometry. On the example of a lightweight multicopter, we propose a graph-based design language which integrates topology optimization and can cover different aspects of the multi-disciplinary product development process: requirements, functions, design equations and costs among others. The topology optimization triggered by the design language can take different product configurations (e.g. battery positioning) into account and accordingly makes several design proposals (i.e. structural proposals for the frame of the multicopter). The executable nature of the graph-based design language reduces the time necessary to design one concept and allows automated design exploration.

Markus Kiesel, Philipp Klimant, Nicolai, Beisheim, Stephan Rudolph, Matthias Putz 27th CIRP Design Conference on Complex Systems Engineering and Development https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2017.01.047


‘Industrie 4.0’ based production systems are likely to change the way future products are manufactured. As information technology gains influence on these systems there is a chance of higher flexibility due to decentralized logic and artificial intelligence. All this leads to a higher complexity and also indeterminism is feasible. Therefore simulation technologies will become a mandatory requirement, especially virtual commissioning will get necessary as the amount of software is rising. A lot of manpower is required to establish and maintain a virtual commissioning system as it needs a large database of standard components. Therefore in most cases small- and mid-sized companies are forced to avoid such technologies. Using graph-based design languages to create virtual commissioning models can help to solve this problem. The basic principle is to shape an abstract model of a production system which will then be individually built within the domain specific tools. One of these should be a virtual commissioning tool to evaluate the functionality of the built model. If a change in the design is necessary, the new virtual commissioning model can be regenerated automatically. This approach is even more reasonable, if graph-based design languages are used throughout the whole product life cycle.

Manuel Ramsaier, Kevin Holder, Andreas Zech, Ralf Stetter, Stephan Rudolph, Markus Till 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) https://www.designsociety.org/publication/39536/digital_representation_of_product_functions_in_multicopter_design


In recent years the research concerning the representation of product functions has intensified again. Current studies exhibit a growing interest of design engineers to apply such representations in their daily practice. Simultaneously, a growing interest concerning graph-based methods for the digital representation of product models and the product logic in general can be observed. This paper seeks to combine these two research directions and to present a promising attempt to allow a sensible representation of product functions within a digital engineering framework based on graph based design languages. The main motivation for this research is to look for powerful methods and tools to overcome the limitations which result from the multitude of software tools along the product life cycle and heterogeneous data formats which are present in industrial companies and hinder integrated product development. This research seeks to expand the applicability of graph-based design languages into the domain of product functions. A rather simple product – a multicopter – is used as a basis for explanation and discussion.

Theresa Breckle, Jens Kiefer, Stephan Rudolph, Martin Manns 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) https://www.designsociety.org/publication/39551/engineering_of_assembly_systems_using_graph-based_design_languages


Car Manufacturers are subject to continuous and fundamental changes. Already today increasing time pressure, rising complexity and a soaring cost pressure require a shorter time to market. As assembly planning is one of car manufacturers‘ core competence an innovative approach to adapt the processes is needed. This paper presents the early idea of a novel approach for an automated design process covering the early design phase of assembly systems. Integrating various input data as well as requirements leads to a are a base for this approach for designing an assembly system. Uncertain input data, which are fact within early planning phases, need to be considered in order to reach a holistic planning alternatives for evaluation, optimization and afterwards decision-making. With so-called graph-based design languages an automated and efficient design process will be implemented. This leads to a faster designing process in order to reduce planning time and planning costs and reach resilient and sustainable decisions.

Matthias Merk, Gabriela Tullius, Peter Hertkorn 14th International Conference on Cooperative Design, Visualization, and Engineering (CDVE 2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-66805-5_22


In this paper we suggest an ubiquitous system with an implicit HCI. A basic concept of a middleware as well as design recommendations for future creativity and collaboration environments in an engineering context are presented in this paper.

Jens Kiefer, Ralf Stetter, Stephan Rudolph, Markus Till Ingenieurspiegel http://www.publicverlag.com/produkte/index.html


Im Jahr 2015 wurde in Baden-Württemberg an vier Hochschulen und der Universität Stuttgart das Zentrum für angewandte Forschung (ZAFH) „Digitaler Produktlebenszyklus (DiP)“ eingerichtet. Das ZAFH ist mit künftigen Fördermitteln ausgestattet, die zu einem Drittel aus Mitteln des Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) kommen und zu zwei Dritteln durch das Land Baden-Württemberg bestritten werden. Ziel des ZAFH-Forschungsvorhabens ist dabei die vollständige digitale Abbildung und maschinelle Ausführbarkeit des Produktlebenszyklus. Das bedeutet konkret: es sollen alle Stationen, angefangen vom Entwurf eines Produkts über die grundlegende Architektur und Geometrie, die Simulation und Validierung, die Produktion in der digitalen Fabrik und die übergreifende Kosten- und Energiebilanzierung in ein konsistentes digitales Gesamtmodell integriert werden (Till et al. 2016). An dem Projekt wirken Projektpartner von den Hochschulen Albstadt-Sigmaringen (HAS), Ravensburg-Weingarten (HRW), Reutlingen (HR) und Ulm (HU) sowie vom Institut für Statik und Dynamik der Luft- und Raumfahrkonstruktionen (ISD) und dem Institut für Flugmechanik und -regelung (IFR) der Universität Stuttgart mit. Ein Forschungsschwerpunkt ist die digitale Konzeptplanung von Montageanlagen anhand mehrerer Anwendungsbeispiele. Die Umsetzung der digitalen Modellierung des Produktlebenszyklus erfolgt mittels eines sprachbasierten Engineering Frameworks aus graphenbasierten Entwurfssprachen.

Publikationen 2016

Manuel Ramsaier, Claudius Spindler, Ralf Stetter, Stephan Rudolph 10th CIRP Conference on Intelligent Computation in Manufacturing Engineering – CIRP ICME ’16 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2016.06.008


This paper describes the formal representation approach used in the scope of a large-scale research project aiming at the holistic, completely digital representation and automated computability of the product life-cycle (PLC). The distinctive approach consists in the novel methodology of visual, graph-based design languages expressed in UML (Unified Modeling Language), which allow both the creation of new engineering models as well as the reuse of pre-existing engineering models and know-how. The tool-independent representation of the engineering design knowledge via the abstraction level in UML was originally developed by one of the project partners in prior work. The paper explains the methodology, modeling method and computational means as well as their integration along the product life-cycle including requirements, design, simulation as well as cost and energy analysis. The explanation is illustrated through a design language implementation for the automated design of novel light-weight multicopters.

Jens Kiefer, Sebastian Allegretti, Theresa Breckle 10th CIRP Conference on Intelligent Computation in Manufacturing Engineering – CIRP ICME ’16 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2016.06.086


This paper presents a new quality- and lifecycle-oriented approach of integrated production engineering in automotive industry. In a first step, current production engineering projects are analyzed and present methodical, information-technical and organizational challenges regarding the project phase of concept planning are depicted. Based on this, existing industrial- and research-oriented solution approaches are illustrated and critically evaluated. Considering the weaknesses of these solutions, this paper introduces the new developed quality- and lifecycle-oriented production engineering approach. As one key issue of this new planning approach, the idea of using a model- and rule-based configuration system is presented.

Matthias Merk, Gabriela Tullius, Peter Hertkorn Digital Enterprise Computing (DEC 2016) https://publikationen.reutlingen-university.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/928


This paper presents an approach to develop a collaborative working environment for engineering support in the field of model-based systems engineering. The need for such a system is motivated and a concept for an adaptive CSCW environment is shown.

Markus Till, Ralf StetterStephan Rudolph Forschungsreport für den Maschinenbau in Baden-Württemberg http://www.publicverlag.com/produkte/index.html


Im Jahr 2015 wurde in Baden-Württemberg an vier Hochschulen und der Universität Stuttgart das Zentrum für angewandte Forschung (ZAFH) „Digitaler Produktlebenszyklus (DiP)“ eingerichtet. Die Konsortialführung des ZAFH liegt bei Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Till von der Hochschule Ravensburg-Weingarten. Da Firmen zukünftig immer mehr auf eine durchgängige Unterstützung des Produkt-lebenszyklus durch IT-Systeme setzen, ist u.a. die volle Interoperabilität von CAD-, FEM-, …, CFD-Werkzeugen in konsistenten Modellen erforderlich. Dieses „Digital Engineering“ für Unternehmen ist deshalb ein zentrales aktuelles Forschungsthema der Universitäten. Durch die Forschungsarbei-ten des Zentrums für angewandte Forschung „Digitaler Produktlebenszyklus (DiP)“ wird ein nach-haltiger Wissens- und Technologietransfer im Digital Engineering in die industrielle Praxis erreicht. Das ZAFH „Digitaler Produktlebenszyklus (DiP)“ ist dabei mit künftigen Fördermitteln mit bis zu 2,25 Millionen Euro ausgestattet, die zu einem Drittel aus Mitteln des Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) kommen und zu zwei Dritteln durch das Land Baden-Württemberg bestritten werden. Nach erfolgreicher Evaluation kann nach drei Jahren die Fördersumme um weitere 1,5 Millionen Euro aus Landes- und EFRE-Mitteln gesteigert werden. Ziel des ZAFH-Forschungsvorhabens ist dabei die vollständige digitale Abbildung und maschinelle Ausführbarkeit des Produktlebenszyklus. Das bedeutet konkret: es sollen alle Stationen, angefan-gen vom Entwurf eines Produkts über die grundlegende Architektur und Geometrie, die Simulation und Validierung, die Produktion in der digitalen Fabrik und die übergreifende Kosten- und Energie-bilanzierung in ein konsistentes digitales Gesamtmodell integriert werden. An dem Projekt wirken Projektpartner von den Hochschulen Albstadt-Sigmaringen (HAS), Ravensburg-Weingarten (HRW), Reutlingen (HR) und Ulm (HU) sowie vom Institut für Statik und Dynamik der Luft- und Raumfahr-konstruktionen (ISD) und dem Institut für Flugmechanik und –regelung (IFR) der Universität Stutt-gart mit. Die Umsetzung der digitalen Modellierung des Produktlebenszyklus erfolgt mittels eines sprachbasierten Engineering Frameworks aus graphenbasierten Entwurfssprachen. Die industrielle Umsetzung wird beispielhaft anhand dreier Anwendungsfälle (PKW-Frontklappe, Quadrocopter und Segway) demonstriert.



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Till

Prodekan Fakultät Maschinenbau
Modellierung und Simulation, Digital Engineering
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Till


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Stetter

Auslandsbeauftragter der Fakultät Maschinenbau & Leiter Labor CAD und FEM
Konstruktion & Entwicklung in der Kraftfahrzeugtechnik
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Stetter

Prof. adj. Prof. Dr.–Ing. Robert Bjekovic

Professor der Fakultät Maschinenbau
Fahrzeugkonstruktion, Leichtbau und alternative Antriebe
Robert Bjekovic