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Work Package 1 - Production System Configuration

System level research activity

The overall goal of WP1 is to design, develop and implement into an integrated Digital Platform the models and methods that will enable the optimal configuration of the RLW hybrid assembly plant to achieve quality/productivity performance with minimal energy consumption and environmental impact. This software platform (System Layout Configuration Wizard, SL-Config wizard) will be designed to interact with the local process and workstation design decisions to be taken in WPs 2, 3, and 4 in order to ensure consistency with the system level design decisions, avoiding myopic solutions and local improvements that are detrimental at system level. Strict requirements for the SL-Config wizard will be considered in terms of execution times and accuracy with the objective to allow the on-line use of the tool for supporting fast reconfiguration and adaptation of the assembly system. To this purpose it will be based on general advanced analytical models whose accuracy is preliminarily verified via benchmark with discrete event simulation. Particular attention will be given to the visualization of the results to deliver a user-friendly application.

Scientific and Technological Objectives to be Achieved in this WP

The main scientific and technological challenges are related to the need of meeting requirements of(I) short execution time of the optimization analysis and the (I) applicability to general hybrid assembly systems of the methods to be delivered. The first issue will be tackled by proposing, on the one hand, a completely new integrative solution strategy for searching for the optimal configuration, that is designed to save a huge number of evaluations of feasible system configurations (Task 1.2), on the other hand, a completely new quality/productivity/energy integrated assembly system model (Task 1.4) based on approximate analytical methods that is expected to reduce the evaluation time of one system configuration of three orders of magnitude with respect to discrete event simulation. The proposed analytical method will provide the set of equations describing the  dynamics of the system behaviour that relates the input parameters of the system, under a given configuration, with the system response in terms of quality, productivity and energy. The second issue will be mainly addressed by considering for the first time in the analytical method assembly stations that are modelled as general complexity Markov chains, thus enabling to include in the assembly system model a large set of previously un-modelled features, like degrading quality states and different energy requirements for each station's
state.

If you would like more information on this aspect of the research please use the contact details here to identify and contact the work package leader.

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RLW Navigator is a three year, €3.9M, project funded by the European Commission under the ICT-Factories of the Future programme.  The project has fourteen partners and began in January 2012.

The goal of the project is to develop an engineering platform for an emerging joining technology from the automotive industry, Remote Laser Welding (RLW), that will enable the exploitation of this technology and ultimately support other joining processes.

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