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With Instant Factory Maps , planning should work faster and more accurately than with conventional methods, reports the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) . In this process, a drone with three cameras takes thousands of photos. A software package then puts them together to create a three-dimensional layout. A factory hall that is 800 m2 in size could thus be surveyed in half an hour. Although 3D measurement methods are already widespread, the IPH researchers explain, thanks to the drone, truly every last corner of the factory can be captured – even behind machines, for example, or between high shelves and hall ceilings. The software should be able to recognize individual objects. The IPH says that the technology has already passed the initial practical tests in four companies.

Planning a factory is no easy task. The German Association of Engineers (VDI) has its own department dedicated to this area . It is working on solutions that pursue several objectives: they include a cost-effective production and manufacturing flow, ergonomic working conditions and high flexibility of the buildings, systems and equipment.