On 04.02.2021 the doctoral thesis disputation titled “Agile manufacturing control for (re)fabrication systems” of Sebastian Groß took place. The PhD was carried out in a cooperation between the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld (UCB) of the University of Applied Sciences Trier and the University of Luxembourg (Uni Lu), as well as financed by the Interreg V A Greater Region Project Robotix-Academy. Within the framework of the work supervised by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Gerke (UCB) and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Plapper (UL), a production control concept and system was developed that takes into account the special requirements of remanufacturing as well as the integration of driverless transport systems into it. Remanufacturing is a process in which used products are transformed into a like-new state. A control architecture that uses methods of AI-based optimization as well as the networking of all manufacturing participants and thus leads to a holistic cyber-physical system was developed.
Simulation studies have demonstrated a lead time reduction of 35.6% compared to other current solutions. Furthermore, the approach is able to react adequately and quickly to unexpected events, such as machine breakdowns or new orders. The approach could also be validated by successfully controlling a model factory located at UCB in a realistic environment.
Other members of the jury were Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Scholzen (UL), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Freitag (BIBA, University of Bremen) and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Müller (ZeMA gGmbH, Saarland University). In addition, about 15 other people from industry and research took part in Mr. Groß’s presentation.
Sebastian Groß was able to successfully defend his thesis during his 30-minute presentation and the subsequent 90-minute question and answer session, thus earning the title “Docteur de l’ Université du Luxembourg en Sciences de l’ Ingenieur”.