Project Partner in the EKPLO Research Project

As part of this four-year program, Bilsing Werkzeugbau’s organizational structure and production processes, along with those of other participating partners, is being analyzed and documented through defined statistical procedures, and then incorporated into an APS system in an agile and iterative approach.

This project stemmed out of the impact of the move toward Industry 4.0, which is increasing data acquisition and the complexity of APS systems. As a result, many companies don’t use APS, replacing them with more traditional plans or resorting to previously used common processes. The goal is to significantly reduce complexity, better support staff in real-time data use and decision-making, and quickly adapt the APS system to both users and developers. 

There were several identified stages throughout the project beginning with the documentation and modelling of Bilsing Werkzeugbau’s current production processes. In particular, there was a focus on the physical flow of workpieces through the individual production steps and the involvement of all resources, such as machines, employees, tools and materials and their interdependencies.

The project involved several workshops for Bilsing management, as well as all employees, who were tasked with collecting their own organizational structure and processes within their Production Planning System (PPS). They were then tasked with running their facility as defined by this plan, observing any gaps that needed to be addressed. It analyzed two objective functions, minimizing overall delays across all production orders or minimizing the total duration of a production plan. 

The project EKPLO is funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Union. It is carried out by the Institute for Information Systems, Professorship for CSCW and Social Media of the University of Siegen, Siegen Mittelstandsinstitut of the University of Siegen, the Department of Management Information Science of the University of Siegen, the QOSIT Softwaretechnik GmbH, the tesyo technologies GmbH, the ALU-Technik Attendorn GmbH,  AVENTUM GmbH and Bilsing Automation GmbH.