The WGP annually awards the Otto Kienzle Commemoration Medal to a young scientist for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of production engineering. This year’s award went to Marc-André Dittrich from the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW) for his research in the field of self-optimizing production systems.
Digitization in production
“Research in manufacturing technology is often still limited to mechanical feasibility,” Dittrich said. He, on the other hand, is trying to transfer current developments in the field of digitization and artificial intelligence to production technology for making them practical usable.
In the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD, Dittrich also leads a task force that deals with quality control loops in production technology: “Production data must be intelligently linked with one another in order to achieve self-learning systems that ensure efficient production even with the smallest batch sizes,” explains Dittrich.
Interdisciplinarity as a guiding principle
Digitization, sustainability, process robustness – the thematic arc of Dittrich’s research is unusually broad. The feature that characterizes his entire career is interdisciplinarity. “I’m curious and quick to get excited – with all the advantages and disadvantages that entails,” he said.
As the head of the IFW “Production Systems” department, Dittrich always tries to transfer this enthusiasm to his employees. “Our goal is to create self-optimizing machines and systems,” he said. Among other things, Dittrich has already worked with his colleagues to ensure a continuous development of a technological NC simulation for metal-cutting manufacturing processes.
Interface to computer science
“His extremely fast grasp of things and, above all, his interdisciplinary view of things have resulted in a whole range of innovations,” reported Professor Berend Denkena, vice-president of the WGP and head of the IFW at Leibniz Universität Hannover. “Particularly in self-optimizing manufacturing systems, he has broadly interlinked with computer science. In addition to fundamental aspects, his work has enabled us to take a big step forward, especially in the practical implementation of such systems.”