Flexibility and Interoperability is becoming – in addition to price and quality strategies – an increasingly important competitive factor.

Networked machines, software, employees, suppliers, customers are a reality. Unfortunately, the design and engineering of software for decentralised and distributed socio-technical production systems is reaching quite often its limits. PROFACTOR researches and develops infrastructure and algorithms for flexible production systems, assist people in making decisions which can’t be reached with methods based on experience alone. Plant operators can – for example – by means of model-based methods test system configurations that are most promising for a particular product version or the current process status.

Distributed information systems are the basis for cyber physical (production) systems and industrial internet of things. Here, distributed sensors and actuators are networked and information flows are linked in order to allow companies to operate flexibly. Corresponding intelligent algorithms and decision support enable the adaptation of the production to continuously evolving environmental conditions (see Sensing, Smart & Sustainable (S ^ 3) Enterprise).

The goal of flexible yet efficient and effective production – in terms of resilience, punctuality, responsiveness, productivity, resource conservation, etc. – requires that decision makers (a) have access to distributed data, information, knowledge and expertise, these elements are interoperable, and (b) a global overview can be created to do a holistic evaluation.

The networking of machines, software, employees, suppliers, and customers has long been a reality. Unfortunately, however, the design and engineering of software for modular socio-technical production systems-of-systems repeatedly reaches its limits.

In order to make a contribution to achieving these visions, the PROFACTOR FPS team is conducting research on the following topics with the aim of making production systems more flexible.

  • Enterprise Application Integration and Cyber Physical Systems and Industrial Internet of Things
  • Semantic Data Models and Data Integration & Analysis / Business Intelligence
  • Model-driven information systems and modelling for documentation and knowledge management
  • Discrete event simulation to understand complexity and to plan dynamic systems.
  • Dynamic Rescheduling and Flexible Job Shop Scheduling
  • Shop Floor Middleware and Architectures
  • Flexible, adaptive production through human-robot teams together with the PROFACTOR Robotics team
  • Middleware and domain specific Languages for distributed information systems
  • Modelling of production control using approaches like holonics and multi agent systems


IMP explores new methods and tools for improving maintenance planning and execution in highly demanding and complex production systems by intuitively guiding, supervising and optimised scheduling. This includes the following priorities: (1) detection and classification of maintenance tasks from the ...+
NPS investigates new methods for priority-rule-based scheduling and control of flexible, volatile production processes at the operational shop floor level according to user-defined strategies. To do so, complex priority rules are automatically synthesized and iteratively optimised by using meta-heur...+
Overall objective of this project is to research approaches for a distributed optimisation algorithm for dynamic job shop scheduling problems in massively distributed, agile production environments with stochastic properties. The research software prototype to be developed will be based on mathemati...+


Georg Weichhart, Christian Stary, Francois Vernadat, Enterprise Modelling for Interoperable and Knowledge-based Enterprises, International Journal of Production Research, Special Issue: Information Systems, Industrial Engineering and Knowledge Management: Recent Advances and New Perspectives, DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2017.1406673, to appear

Georg Weichhart, Christian Stary, Markus Appel, “The Digital Dalton Plan: Progressive Education as Integral Part of Web-based Learning Environments”, Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal (KM&EL), to appear.

Weichhart, G., Guédria, W. and Naudet, Y.
Supporting Interoperability in Complex Adaptive Enterprise Systems: A Domain Specific Language Approach
Data and Knowledge Engineering, 2016

Stary, C., Neubauer, M., Oppl, S. and Weichhart, G.
Stakeholder-centered Ontologies for Educational Designs
Int. J. on Ontology of Designing, 2015, Vol. 5(2), pp. 149-178

Weichhart, G.
Supporting the evolution and interoperability of organisational models with e-learning technologies
Annual Reviews in Control, 2015, Vol. 39(0), pp. 118-127

Weichhart, G., Molina, A., Chen, D., Whitman, L. and Vernadat, F.
Challenges and Current Developments for Sensing, Smart and Sustainable Enterprise Systems
Computers in Industry, 2015, Vol. 79, pp. 34-46

Georg Weichhart, Christian Stary: Interoperable Process Design in Production Systems, On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems: OTM 2017 Workshops, Confederated International Workshops: EI2N, FBM, ICSP, Meta4eS, and OTMA 2017, Springer, 2018

Alexander Walch, Christian Eitzinger, Sebastian Zambal and Werner Palfinger; LSPB Trajectory Planning Using Quadratic Splines, Proceedings of the ICMRE Conference 2017, Paris, 08.-12. Feb. 2017

Ciuciu, I., Debruyne, C., Panetto, H., Weichhart, G., Bollen, P., Fensel, A., Vidal, M.-E. (Eds.), On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems: OTM 2016 Workshops, Confederated International Workshops: EI2N, FBM, ICSP, Meta4eS, and OTMA 2016, Rhodes, Greece, October 24–28, 2016, Revised Selected Papers, Springer, SBN 978-3-319-55961-2, DOI: 0.1007/978-3-319-55961-2

Plasch Matthias, Hofmann Michael, Ebenhofer Gerhard, Rooker Martijn: Reduction of Development Time by Using Scriptable IEC 61499 Function Blocks in a Dynamically Loadable Type Library; Präsentation bei der ETFA’2014 – 19th IEEE Intl. Conf. on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, 17.-18. September 2014, Technische Universität von Katalonien, Spanien, Paper ID: 978-1-4799-4845-1/14/.

Hämmerle Alexander, Ankerl Martin: Solving a vehicle routing problem with ant colony optimisation and stochastic ranking; Präsentation bei der eurocast 2013 – 14th Intl. Conf. on Computer Aided System Theory, Roberto Moreno-Diaz, Franz Pichler (Hrsg.), 10.-15. Februar 2013, Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnología, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spanien

Pitzer Erik, Beham Andreas, Affenzeller Michael, Heiß Helga, Vorderwinkler Markus: Prioritätsregelbasierte Produktionsoptimierung mit genetischer Programmierung und einem Lösungsarchiv; Tagungsband des FFH2012 – 6. FH-Forschungsforum, Michael Bobik et al (Hrsg.), 11.-12. April 2012, FH-Joanneum, Graz; S. 113-117.

Pitzer Erik, Beham Andreas, Affenzeller Michael, Heiß Helga, Vorderwinkler Markus: Production Fine Planning Using a Solution of Priority Rules; Tagungsband der LINDI‘2011 – 3rd IEEE International Symposium on Logistics and Industrial Informatics; Budapest, Ungarn, 25.-27. August 2011.

Kaiser Simon, Vorderwinkler Markus, Steringer Robert: Simulationsgestützte Entscheidungsunterstützung für den operativen Anlagenbetrieb; Tagungsband des ISM‘10 – Industrielles Symposium Mechatronik, Clusterland OÖ GmbH (Hrsg.); Linz, Österreich, 18. November 2010.

Speckle Markus, Gruber Matthias, Saler Martin: Evaluierung und Analyse integrationsfähiger Simulations Engines für die Entwicklung komplexer und detaillierter Simulationsmodelle; Tagungsband der ASIM‘09 – 20. Symposium Simulationstechnik, Gnauck Albrecht; Luther Bernhard (Hrsg.); Cottbus, Deutschland, 23.-25. September 2009, ISBN 978-3-9811800-5-3.

Vorderwinkler Markus: Simulationsgestütztes Engineering im Anlagenbau 4.0: Von der Anlagenkonzeption über die virtuelle Inbetriebnahme bis zur operativen Betrieb und der Instandhaltung; Vortrag beim 28. Internationalen Forum für industriell Instandhaltung, ÖVIA Kongress, 8.- 9. Okt. 2014, Bad Erlach, Österreich.

Vorderwinkler Markus: Cluster-Praxisbeispiel: Virtuelle Planung und Leistungsabsicherung im Anlagenbau 4.0; Vortrag bei der Veranstaltung „Industrie 4.0 und die Rolle von Serviceinnovationen“ der Nationalen Cluster Plattform; Wien, Österreich; 17. Juni 2014.

Vorderwinkler Markus: Steigerung der Energieeffizienz durch simulationsgestützte Auslegung und Produktionssteuerung; Vortrag beim Fachausschuss 16 „Energieeffizienz“ der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Wärmebehandlung + Werkstofftechnik e. V.; Friedrichshafen, Deutschland; 27. Mai 2014.

Vorderwinkler Markus: Simulationsgestütztes Engineering im Anlagenbau 4.0 – Von der Anlagenkonzeption über die virtuelle Inbetriebnahme bis zur  operativen Produktionssteuerung; Vortrag bei der Veranstaltung „Industrie 4.0 – Die Produktion der Zukunft“; Veranstalter: Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH; Salzburg, Österreich; 15. Mai 2014.

Vorderwinkler Markus: Minimierung des Ressourcenverbrauchs durch Ablaufsimulation; Vortrag beim Experten-Workshop zur Steigerung der Ressourceneffizienz; 23. Jänner 2013, Ruhstorf a. d. Rott, Deutschland / 24. Jänner 2013, Ried im Inkreis, Österreich.

Vorderwinkler Markus: Prioritätsregelbasierte Produktionssteuerung mit automatischer Regelerstellung und ‑optimierung; Vortrag beim Workshop der ASIM-Arbeitsgruppe „Simulationsbasierte Optimierung von Produktions- und Logistikprozessen; Berlin, Deutschland, 10. Dezember 2012.

Vorderwinkler Markus: Simulationsgestützte Planung & Optimierung logistischer Systeme; Vortrag beim Forschungs- & Technologieforum 2009 „Simulation und Modellierung; RIZ Waidhofen/Ybbs, Österreich, 26. Mai 2009.

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Dr. Georg Weichhart

Head of Flexible Production Systems

+43 7252 885 355

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