Integrated and learning manufacturing execution system for lot size 1

Funded Project

This research and development project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the program Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM) Cooperation Project form (funding number ZU4668203AP9) and implemented by the AiF Projekt GmbH Berlin. The author is responsible for the content of this publication.


The industry in Germany is in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. Customer requirements become more individual, batch sizes in production smaller. Custom tailored products in ͏»lot size 1« are becoming more and more the rule.

For this purpose, production must be able to react quickly to changing requirements. Orders are planned dynamically. For example, information on resource availability or deadline priorities is taken into account. In modern production facilities this task is taken over by the  Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

The basis for production planning by means of an MES are statistical reference values. Frequently used values are  production times, set-up times as well as tool requirements. For the recording of these values, a far-reaching digitalization is a prerequisite, which is often lacking in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

However, at lot size 1, there are no reference values. There is a lack of a reliable database for production planning. An individual, flexible production cannot succeed in this way.


  • Use of CAx planning and simulation for cost estimation
  • Networking of CAM, MDA, MES and tool database
  • Template-based production planning


  • Estimation of the production times of a product at approx. +/- 5%
  • Automated selection of tools and machine
  • Estimation of production costs

The aim of the project is to increase efficiency and accuracy in quotation calculation and production planning at lot size 1. A consistent and learning production control system is to be developed taking into account real conditions, alternative machines and tools. Important characteristics for the MES are obtained from process simulations. For this purpose, an MES system is linked to the systems for computer-aided production (CAx), tool management and machine data acquisition (MDA) in order to provide the necessary information for quotation calculation and production planning.

Within the MES, the technically possible resource combinations of machines and tools for order processing are first determined. With the help of the connection of the tool management and MDA, the static (e.g. geometry, kinematics, installation space) and dynamic information (e.g. tool wear, machine status) are provided. These are in turn used by the CAx system to forecast the respective production times. On this basis, the cost calculation and scheduling for the various resource combinations in the MES are carried out. The resource combination used for machining as well as production and set-up times are recorded by the MDA and used for subsequent model adaptation in the CAx system.

In the course of the project, templates for the CAM system are created for processing. Each template corresponds to a component class (e.g. “turbine blade”). New components are then assigned to a component class during operation and preliminary NC programs are created on this basis. The second part consists of a machining simulation to calculate the production time. This is connected to the CAM system and automatically started by it. At the end there is a system that automatically determines the expected production time from the CAD file and the information about the machine and the tools used.

The solution developed in the project will offer the following advantages:

  • Estimation of the production times of a product at approx. +/- 5%
  • Automated selection of tools and machine
  • Estimation of production costs

Project Timeline

Project Start - July 2020

Project End - Jun 2022


The project is being conducted together with the following partners:

Fauser AG has been developing, distributing and maintenance software solutions for production for 25 years. A special focus is on small and medium-sized enterprises. The core competencies include complete solutions for SMEs, integration solutions for existing ERP systems as well as manufacturing execution systems (MES) as an add-on for other ERP manufacturers.

Lauscher Präzisionstechnik GmbH has been manufacturing high-quality machining components made of titanium, aluminum and high-strength steel for the aerospace industry as well as for mechanical engineering for over 50 years. Over decades, unique manufacturing know-how has been acquired for the economical production of complex components.


Dr.-Ing. Riaz Ur-Rehman

AixPath GmbH Henricistraße 50 52072 Aachen

+49 241 9978 3350