Engineering and Configuration

Today’s fast changing markets require fast changing products, and fast changing products require adaptable production plants. For this, the so-called Plug- and-Produce (PnP) paradigm has been developed in the field of machine and plant construction. But nowadays, the automation systems become more and more the bottleneck for PnP: Each plant construction or reconfiguration causes a high engineering effort for adapting the automation system. The main reasons for this are static and pre-planned structures in the software of the automation system. Modular, self-organizing software structures in combination with intelligent assistant systems have been proposed as a solution, such approaches and the corresponding engineering tools are developed in several projects.

As shown in the figure, these solutions comprise the following steps:
Based on the wanted production situation (i.e. products and process descriptions), the automation system is planned and configured by means of intelligent assistant systems. Such systems support the user in the configuration and planning task. For this, PnP solutions try to formalize human configuration and automation knowledge, i.e. by means of rules, semantics and ontologies. If a plant and its automation system have to be created or modified, we aim at a plug-and-produce solution. I.e. manual engineering efforts should be minimized. In each case, the assistant system develops an optimal strategy to adapt the automation solution, i.e. a strategy that minimizes manual engineering steps.


Prof. Dr. Oliver Niggemann
E-Mail: oliver.niggemann(at)
Phone: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2403
Fax: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2409

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Jasperneite
E-Mail: juergen.jasperneite(at)
Phone: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2401
Fax: +49 (0) 5261 - 702 2409