As early as in the 1980s, inpro devoted its attention to the issue of digital management of production resources, taking fundamental work on computer-aided expert systems as a basis. Due to lack of information on the state of production resources, i.e., both production tools and production systems, unnecessary quality problems and equipment failures often occurred at various control levels.

The aim was to digitally support the complex decision-making processes in diagnosis, care and maintenance of production resources with the development specific knowledge management systems. The entire process chain management, including development, planning and logistics, with its many rules, forms of organisation and control methods, was analysed as to achieve a consistent design in production technology, organization, and planning and control methods. The first software prototype was released as a digital aid in production resource management. Project steps were implemented in pilot projects for the Daimler engine factory in Berlin-Marienfelde, the Volkswagen press shop in Wolfsburg, the prefabrication at Siemens Switchgear Factory at Frankfurt am Main and for the cast and mould tool construction at Daimler’s Untertürkheim plant.

inpro’s partners relied on project results to develop specific information, assistance and control systems, which are partly in use today. Following inpro’s design, Siemens built the PRESS system console for Volkswagen. At Daimler, inpro’s work inspired the foundry and tool information system, (GiWIS), as well as the Manufacturing Tool Management System (MTM), which resulted in consistently high quality engines and assemblies.

„During my tenure at inpro, I was engaged in the development of production support systems. These were picked up by inpro’s shareholders, adjusted to their needs, and utilised. Based on inpro’s developments, the partners‘ works achieved significant financial savings regarding production resources and tool management.“

Prof. Dr. Ulf Räse, Head of Development for Engine Components, Mercedes Benz plant in Berlin