Employees sit at a table with laptop, tablet and documents Copyright: © Martin Braun


Project logo FlexDeMo  

Participative Planning, Simulation and Designs of Flexible and Demographically Robust Forms of Assembly Organization


Key Info

Basic Information

01.05.2019 to 31.10.2022
Research Area:
Modeling and Simulating Complex Work Processes and Systems

Further Information



Susanne Mütze-Niewöhner

Head of Work Organization Department


+49 241 80-99451




The project FlexDeMo aims to develop a simulation-based digital planning system that enables especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop and implement flexible and demographically robust forms of assembly organization at an early stage and in a participatory manner. Modular simulation models enable companies to examine the effects of alternative assembly concepts in the planning phase. In addition to the modular simulation applications, the planning system also includes methodological planning aids and digital tools to support companies in the planning process. The simulation-based planning system will be web-based and freely accessible to provide SMEs with digital planning support that extends beyond the project.


The ability of manufacturing companies to adapt to changes in the market is an essential prerequisite for maintaining and strengthening competitiveness. The increasing dynamics of the markets puts companies in all sectors under the permanent pressure to innovate, to produce a continuously increasing number of variants, to react to unpredictable customer requirements, to shorten product life cycles, and to deal with strongly fluctuating sales figures. In addition, demographic developments mean that companies in Germany have to meet these market demands with an ageing workforce that has heterogeneous skills profiles. FlexDeMo opens up the potential for flexibilization for employees and companies. In addition, the innovative linking of organizational, IT, ergonomics and qualifications design promotes the health of employees and strengthens the development of new skills in the work process.


The project aims to enable companies to identify highly flexible and demographically robust forms of assembly organization using a participatory planning approach. Simulation-supported digital planning will also make it possible to examine the effects of new assembly concepts from both a productivity and a personnel-oriented perspective. The provision of a web-based planning system opens up a great design potential for companies that have not been able to use these digital support tools so far. The selection of a suitable form of assembly organization creates the basis for the transformation towards customer-specific value creation. This increases flexibility for companies and employees. At the same time, taking into account the requirements of the relevant stakeholders as early as the concept development stage increases acceptance and enables a demographically robust assembly design.


In addition to methodical planning aids, the research project will provide platform-independent and easy-to-use web applications to support the planning process. Starting from an as-is assessment of the partnering companies’ assembly situation through to the development of alternatives, to the simulation of those assembly alternatives, a well-founded decision-making basis is created for the selection of the appropriate assembly form. The flexible simulation models to be developed will be transferred to a web application and tested on a pilot basis in the partner companies. Finally, the individual results will be merged into a superordinate action guideline, which will ensure the successful and sustainable implementation of the developed concepts in other companies.


In addition to the direct benefit for the companies involved in the project, scientific findings are generated which, in combination with the freely available digital planning system, represent a benefit for the general public. The result is a comprehensive solution that provides a sound decision-making basis for selecting the future form of assembly. The results support companies in particular in the comprehensive analysis of the extent to which the implementation of qualification-promoting and age-appropriate assembly concepts are economically feasible and how flexibility gains can be achieved for both the company and the employees.

Project Partners

Funded Project Partners
Databay AG
Spaleck Oberflächentechnik GmbH + Co. KG
Westfälische Hochschule

Associated Partners
EvoBus GmbH
Flender GmbH
Miele & Cie. KG


The project is financed with funding provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) under the “Future of work” programme (funding number: 02L18B001) and implemented by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The author is responsible for the content of this publication.

Funding logos of the FlexDeMo project