German Innovation Award for IGZ "IDA2" worker assistance system

Falkenberg/Berlin, 25.05.2022 // For the second time in a row, IGZ was presented with the coveted German Innovation Award in "GOLD". Established by the German Design Council, the prize is awarded to highly innovative products and solutions. In May 2022, the SAP engineers from IGZ bagged the award for the "IDA2" worker assistance system. The abbreviation stands for "Intelligent Digital Assistant 2". This digital assistant is a currently unique, retrofittable worker assistance system that combines automated control and monitoring of assembly, logistics and quality processes in one system. It is not limited to checking individual product features but recognises process interrelationships. To do so, the system aggregates the data from the camera-based monitoring of production steps and checks the workpiece and logistics. IDA2 keeps track of the complete process. Especially in times of increasing manufacturing and configuration diversity as well as high product individualisation, IDA2 represents an absolute world’s first for assembly workstations.

Manufacturing is trending towards smaller batch sizes and individual orders. Both in the consumer sector and in industry, individualisation requirements are increasing – all the way to batch size 1. The associated high diversity of variants also causes an increase in complexity and the risk of assembly errors at production workstations. It is not uncommon for work instructions to vary from workpiece to workpiece and workers must stay on the ball to avoid assembly errors. In the worst case, there is a risk of increased rejection rates, returns and thus competitive disadvantages, financial losses or poorer supplier ratings.

With IDA2, IGZ has developed a world’s first that guides workers intuitively and safely through what is called the "interlocked assembly process". This earned the SAP project centre from Falkenberg, Upper Palatinate, the German Innovation Award in "GOLD" by the German Design Council in May 2022. The Council champions the competitiveness of companies and awards the Gold Award for top performance within an industry or discipline. IGZ received the highest award in the "Excellence in Business to Business – Information Technologies / Industry Specific and Service Software" category. IGZ had already received the German Innovation Award in "GOLD" for the mobile and retrofittable picking robot "LUKE2" in 2021. While last year the prize could only be awarded remotely and digitally, the winners were all the more jubilant at this year's award ceremony on-site in Berlin's Futurium. IGZ Managing Director, Johann Zrenner: "We’re delighted with the jury's verdict and the Gold German Innovation Award. With IDA2, we’ve developed a highly innovative technology that enables industrial companies to even better master the increasing demands on their manufacturing processes and their digitalisation. The groundbreaking development of a modular assistance system already integrated into SAP can potentially change the market for good."

With the built-in 2D and 3D cameras, IDA2 monitors the entire workstation during the assembly process, thus ensuring correct assembly as well as replenishment control at the same time.

Comprehensive worker assistance system with real-time quality validation

In developing IDA2, the SAP engineers at IGZ aimed to provide intelligent and self-learning assembly support for workers while at the same time ensuring reliable manufacturing quality. The multi-patented worker assistance system forms the core of gesture-controlled assembly workstations. When a worker starts the assembly process, the camera system integrated in IDA2 continuously guides them in connection with SAP MES. Step by step. The system validates and documents all individual assembly steps in real-time. The quality control department thus has everything in view: IDA2 recognises even complex interrelationships, such as whether all screws have been installed or electrical plug connections have been fitted correctly. The fact that assembly conditions can be recognised and controlled digitally in real-time and with such interrelated complexity, including logistics integration, is a world’s first. Corrections are therefore made during the assembly process rather than subsequently. An intelligent replenishment control system automatically supplies the worker with the individually required components at the workstation. To so do, material retrieval and consumption are automatically validated and booked via camera recognition. The technological control and configuration are carried out via SAP MES. The special thing is that like the mobile and retrofittable LUKE2 picking robot, IDA2 can also be flexibly retrofitted along with its camera unit at existing assembly workstations. This means that IGZ is providing the possibility to optimise assembly processes that have been established for many years and pave the way to efficient, digitalised and quality-assured assembly of all workpieces.

For more information on Assembly-by-Motion and IDA2, click here.


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