Students Ronald Rap, Vincent Vermeulen, and Eliza Oğuz worked on the Smart Production Cell, a manufacturing line in development. MIC is aiming to use this production line to take on the production of thermoplastic composites. An example of thermoplastic composites are carbon parts found on supercars. Traditionally, these composite materials are created by using laminating techniques, however, this limits the possibilities for material shaping and limits strength in dimensions. Another technique, molding, enables the production of composites with improved material characteristics. Through this technique, the Smart Production Cell will be able to produce parts for the wheel suspension of a (street) car.
An example of thermoplastic composites are the carbon parts found on supercars.
The composite manufacturing line consists of various components, such as a robot arm, a conveyor belt, a molding press, and more. These components are controlled by Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s), the personal computers of the world of manufacturing. The PLC’s can control the components, and therefore the manufacturing line, partly autonomous, and controllable through a user interface. Besides, the PLC’s generate large quantities of data. Usually, this data is saved and processed in existing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), which are adjusted to handle this increased influx of data. The challenge is that this is often costly and a large and complex task and is not optimal for use in a freshly starting production line.
Application of the Be Informed Platform
The students focused on exploring the capabilities of the Be Informed Platform in (partly) replacing the existing roles of SCADA and MES systems. This includes activities such as collecting data, generating content and reports for various purposes, handling safety procedures and alarms, and enabling traceability. The Be Informed Platform, with its powerful case management and knowledge management capabilities, has been introduced to the industrial sector for the first time during this project. It is apparent that the platform is very capable and may offers new opportunities for SMB enterprises in manufacturing.
We would like to thank Eliza, Vincent, and Ronald for their thorough analysis, discovering great opportunities for the future of manufacturing and the Be Informed Platform. And last but certainly not least, we thank Peter Verschut (MIC), Pieter Bergshoeff (HAN) and Deny Smeets (HAN) for the great collaboration and their coaching throughout this project.
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