Value stream kinematics

  • Project team:

    Grunwald, Armin (Project leader); Julia Hahn, Miltos Ladikas

  • Funding:

    KIT Future Fields

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    wbk Institute of Production Science (KIT); IMP Institute of Materials and Processes (Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences); Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics, Intelligent Process Automation and Robotics Lab (KIT); Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics, Vision and Fusion Laboratory (KIT); Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (KIT); Institute for Information Management in Engineering (KIT); Institute of Product Engineering (KIT); Institute for Information Processing Technologies (KIT); Institute of Control Systems (KIT); Institute for Automation and Applied Informatics (KIT)

  • Research group:

    Socio-Technical Futures and Policies

Project description

Industry 4.0, a term initially coined in the German context, is a success story that symbolizes the innovative power and creativity of research and industry. However, Industry 4.0 is essentially a digital innovation that merely adds additional sensors and actuators to conventional physical production systems and allows greater flexibility and productivity in production by collecting and processing data. Due to their limited degrees of freedom, current production systems can only exploit part of this potential. In order to exploit the full potential of Industry 4.0 and the related new opportunities, new hardware with more degrees of freedom is required. The idea behind value stream kinematics is to build an entire production system from a uniform and freely configurable, robot-like kinematics.

It aims at a holistic, adaptable production system whose entire value stream, including control, can be completely, automatically, and digitally planned as well as implemented and operated with uniform, freely programmable kinematics.

Value stream kinematics is characterized by three specific features:

  • Comprehensive digital ecosystem for planning and operating the production system
  • Standardized, collaborative universal kinematics for manufacturing, material flow, and quality assurance
  • High adaptability due to large-scale, distributed grid of zero-point clamping systems with energy, media, and information links

Within this project, ITAS will analyze stakeholders’ expectations and concerns together with the conditions of possibility. In addition, issues of data governance and management (e.g. sensitive data transfer) as well as international policy priorities play a role here.


Dr. Julia Hahn
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 30 40750493