Employee-friendly work stations, effective 3D production and innovative clean room islands

FRAMOS supports trendsetting EU research projects with image processing expertise


In order to build and expand image processing and its benefits for industry, the global image processing specialist FRAMOS is supporting several EU-funded projects with research resources and know-how. The Munich-based company is developing complex imaging systems as well as hardware and software solutions in three renowned EU projects.

The Man Made project aims at creating worker-friendly designs for the production workstation of the future. Monotonous, dull and physically stressful, conveyor belt work does not have a good reputation among those employed in these positions. As an image processing specialist, FRAMOS is developing a so-called anthropometry scanner for body sizes with the data output enabling the workstation to be adapted to the specific physical circumstances of the production worker. Using a stereo camera system developed by FRAMOS, 22 body dimensions are extracted mainly automatically for this purpose. Compared to currently available anthropometry measuring methods such as 2D measurement or complex 3D scanners, the anthropometry scanner - consisting of industrial CCD cameras from the company Smartek Vision - is easy to operate, measures with a high degree of accuracy and is cost-effective. An algorithm specially developed by FRAMOS allows automatic mapping of the necessary measuring points on the respective individual enabling the scan to be performed quickly and without technical staff, for example as part of a company's health check-up for employees. An extensive database filled with this data makes it possible to create an ergonomic workplace design centred on the employee and adapts job planning to suit individual skills, helping to make conveyor belt work more attractive to employees in the future.

The idea behind White’R is the development of an integrated, modular production solution for the manufacture of optoelectronic components. This self-contained White room consisting of a multi-robotic island can by easily integrated into existing production shops and enables the handling, assembly and disassembly of high value added optoelectronic components. The island's devices - robots, operation units, transport, handling and tooling systems - are regarded as reusable Plug-n-Produce modules. In a sub-project called "Smart Sensing System", concerning the design of a camera-based production control system, FRAMOS analyses the necessary measuring precision and uses InGaAs technology to check photovoltaic cells for damage and functionality in the darkroom. Building on this, the image processing specialists, led by IT and Development Manager Dietmar Scharf, select appropriate interfaces and communication protocols, define all relevant technical camera aspects and choose the right hardware. Additionally, the camera's FPGA architecture is being adapted by the FRAMOS team for time-critical image processing algorithms, the necessary reduction in bandwidth, and further White'R-specific requirements. The consortium of 13 partners from academic research institutes, system developers and industrial end customers focuses on immediate practical orientation and implementation in pilot projects. Along with Man Made, it is the second funded project in which FRAMOS is participating in the 7th European research framework programme as an image processing expert.

In Borealis, a sub-project of the research and innovation Horizon2020 (successor to Framework 7) that is currently funded with EUR 80 billion by the EU, FRAMOS is undertaking research and development work on the additive and subtractive manufacturing of the next generation of complex 3D metal parts. A software platform with thermal imaging and 3D camera systems developed and integrated by FRAMOS enables constant production monitoring and backlog-free process adaptation in compliance with the various energy and resource guidelines for optimising utilisation systems, as Borealis recommends the expanded concept of a flexible machine type with energy class AAA+. Based on a trendsetting and high-performance FPGA-based image processing system made up of various high-speed cameras, FRAMOS analyses and designs the necessary hardware  structure in order to integrate ideal data processing into the computer-assisted production chain.

The 16 participating partner companies include Fraunhofer, Coherent and several universities;  Borealis focuses on the complex production challenges in aerospace engineering, medical technology and the automotive sector.

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