Applied Research Solutions seeks an innovator for a planning use-case in open call #2 for innovators. We spoke with Prof. Grigore Stamatescu to learn more about this opportunity.
Grigore Stamatescu is a Professor of Automation and Industrial Informatics at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, who collaborates with Applied Research Solutions for data-driven improvement of the performance of flexible assembly lines in smart manufacturing scenarios.
For what specific problem are you seeking a solution?
In the “Energy-aware Smart Planning for Flexible Assembly Line Systems” (ESPLINE) use-case, we would like to implement a planning and optimisation software layer, based on AIPlan4EU state-of-the-art developments, such as the unified planning framework (UPF). The objective is to improve the scheduling of an existing flexible assembly line system and digital twin by accounting for the energy consumption at each stage in the manufacturing process. This will lead to a reduction of 10-15% of the overall energy consumption and also aim to maximize the consumption during periods with lower energy costs (nights, weekends) and when the availability of renewable energy in the grid is high.
The problem is very timely considering the challenges currently faced by European industry, requiring the increase of its energy efficiency to maintain global competitiveness.
A video of one recent configuration of the pilot plant is available here.
What would you like to realize with your partner from open call #2 for innovators?
The Applied Research Solutions team, as use-case owner, will collaborate tightly with the OC2 software development partner to achieve a robust solution that reaches the proposed KPIs. For this we will assure ongoing technical support and automation development (mainly adaptation of PLC, robot and drive systems routines). An offline collected energy dataset is available for preliminary assessment. Programmatic data access will be enabled through a central edge node that implements open technologies such as OPC-UA and Node RED to disseminate collected sensor data and relay planning commands/parameterization in real time to the physical system. All automation equipment on the line is modern and industrial grade from established suppliers with proper technical documentation. Various industrial communication protocols and IIoT functions are supported.
For the software implementation, a three level planning approach is foreseen:
- Establishing the optimal sequence of component parts in a workpiece at the level of the robotic station (middle station) considering the energy consumption (current draw) for each individual operation;
- Establishing the optimal workpiece sequence in a order batch;
- Increasing the global flexibility through mobile robotic platform dispatch e.g. to increase production in lower-energy demand periods.
The pilot plant is physically located in Bucharest, Romania, and is readily available for hands-on experimentation. Remote experimentation will also be possible with on-site support from one of our engineers.