Safety for modular dynamic production

Developing the future of machine safety together

With the research focus on machine safety (smartSafety) for adaptive modular production, Fraunhofer IOSB-INA is addressing new challenges in the field of functional safety together with partners. In the following we inform you about:


Initial situation

Industry 4.0 requires modular, self-optimized and small-scale production that changes continuously. Production systems with such characteristics are regarded by the Industrie 4.0 platform as a changeable factory and are considered in application scenarios such as flexible production or changeable factory. The transformable factory can be quickly reconfigured to meet new production targets. For example, production units are removed, changed or added. The change can be, for example, the playing out of new configuration parameters that have previously been automatically determined by an AI-based optimization. A machine, the production module but also the production system, in which all units interact, must always be able to be operated safely. This causes production downtime and thus costs. These arise because today a safety officer must manually perform a hazard analysis and risk assessment for every change. In this way, it is checked whether all safety requirements from the Machinery Directive and the applicable regulations are met. Subsequently, technical documentation is often prepared manually. Conversely, this manual procedure reduces the cost-effectiveness of a convertible factory. Another aspect is that the safe condition of a machine usually means production downtime and thus causes further costs.


Developing the future of machine safety together

Based on the situation described above, we show you the need for action, work with you to find solutions and implement them. Together, we consider how new business models in the area of functional safety can be created with the new technologies. One research question, for example, is: In the future, does a safe condition have to mean a production stop? Can more safe states than just shutdown be found through ongoing automated risk assessment?


In the future, interoperability will be an important aspect in the development of solutions. To achieve interoperability, we bring our partners together in research projects and develop a uniform basis for individual interoperable implementations. In addition, our employees are involved in numerous standardization and technical committees. You can find an excerpt in the following sections or get in touch with your contact person.


Our competencies for functional safety

When developing solutions, the interdisciplinary know-how of our research groups is combined with the requirements of machine safety.

Our vision with smartSafety: An automatic risk assessment for Safety & Security for the continuous evaluation of the current threat risk. Realize solutions for the functional safety of tomorrow together with Fraunhofer IOSB-INA. Together we bring proven Industrie 4.0 technologies into safe profitable use.

In the following, you will find an excerpt of our competencies that form the basis for future technologies in the area of machine safety.Our employees will be happy to demonstrate the technologies of the future in our Real lab SmartFactoryOWLArrange an appointment with your contact person right now.

  • Standards and norms in the field of machine safety and IT security
  • Kenntnis über das am Markt verfügbare Lösungsportfolio für Safety & Security
  • Using Industry 4.0 technologies for functional safety
  • Data Analysis, Anomaly Detection, Prescriptive Maintenance
  • Explainability of AI
  • Information modeling and digital twin: e.g., for automation of risk assessment.
  • Safety over OPC UA of the Joint Standardization Working Group of PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation e.V. and OPC Foundation 
  • Image processing: e.g. for safeguarding workspaces
  • Indoor localization: e.g. for localization of individual production units
  • Sensor fusion: e.g. for determining safety-related information without a sparred sensor
  • Human-machine interaction: e.g. to support hazard analysis and as an interface between a safety management system and humans.


Laboratory equipment

Fraunhofer IOSB-INA has first-class equipped laboratories such as for machine learning or communication technology. Below are some equipment features for the smartSafety area to develop services.


Range of services for Safety

In the following, you will learn how we can specifically help you. If you do not find yourself in the points, please feel free to contact us. As a matter of principle, we offer our customers individualized and customized solutions.

  • Independent consulting on functional safety for the manufacturer-independent realization of flexible production systems in the changeable factory
  • Realization of machine safety in plug-and-produce scenarios
  • Plant modeling incl. functional safety features as digital twin
  • Safe machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques.
  • Realization and evaluation of network-based functional safety
  • Machine safety studies for modular machines and plants
  • Use of real-time Ethernet for safety-related communication






Innovation project AutoS²

Find out everything about the it's OWL innovation project AutoS² here.


Convergence of safety and security

Together with CIIT partners, an understanding picture was developed that shows the increasing dependence on Safety & Security.

Safety in rail vehicles

As a project partner of MonoCab we bring our #KnowHow of networked safety controls and safety considerations to the railways.


To the Project page