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Mobile assistance systems and Internet services in smart production

Brief description

The APPsist project is developing a holistic approach for man-machine interaction in production. Based on the specific expertise of employees, software-based assistance systems will automatically adapt to meet their support needs. In this way, support and learning processes can be developed to meet very different needs, such as commissioning, operation, maintenance, repair and preventive servicing of systems. With made-to-measure support like this, employees with different levels of knowledge can be assigned a wider range of tasks than before.


Customers today often demand bespoke product variants combined with high product quality and the low price customary in series production. In an effort to meet these demands, manufacturing companies are increasingly relying on production systems that are both highly automated and flexible. But as such production systems become more complex and their individual components become "smarter", the demands placed on employees in production are also growing, for instance, with a view to commissioning, monitoring, maintenance and servicing. In addition to assembly skills, employees now also have to be proficient in electronics and data technology.


hat's why multi-medial "assistance systems" are being developed in the APPsist project to support workers to use cyber-physical systems in production and exchange knowledge with each other. These assistance services are to take into account the qualifications and knowledge of the respective employee together with the given circumstances of the specific work situation in which the employee interacts with a component in the production system.


The researchers are employing AI, knowledge management and semantic technology methods so that the digital assistant can give the right answers no matter what the situation. Virtual-reality and augmented-reality technologies are also to be tested, for instance, in order to simulate a production process. In this case, the user wears data glasses which display, for instance, the correct wiring of electronic components. In addition to these technically orientated tasks, the project also addresses matters of work organisation and economics which can arise when this new generation of assistance systems is launched along with the related changes in organisational structures and processes. From the very beginning, employees, works councils and the IG Metall union will be involved in the design and shaping of the system. The project is also to examine the extent to which it makes sense to integrate gamification, i.e. gaming elements and incentives, into industrial assistance systems in order to boost job satisfaction and motivation. The functions of the APPsist system are to be made available via a company cloud.

Use case

The APPsist assistance systems will be tested at three project partners working in the production sector: toolmaker Brabant & Lehnert, automation technology supplier Festo and plant construction company MBB Fertigungstechnik. Production staff working in the pilot applications will be offered a host of digital assistance services. This support ranges from operating instructions for the next work steps to an "emergency service", right through to options for discussing technical matters with other colleagues in a fast and simple manner. Touchscreens on the machines or apps on smart phones, tablets and PCs will provide fast access to the services. 

Partners: Festo Lernzentrum Saar GmbH (consortium leader), Brabant & Lehnert GmbH, Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH (DFKI), Festo AG, Fraunhofer IAO, imc information multimedia communication AG, MBB Fertigungstechnik GmbH, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

More information

More information

Contact person

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)

Project Management Agency "Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)" for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy -Technical Innovations in business-

Dipl.-Phys. Gerd Hembach