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Tag: Innovation

DRONES AND ROBOTS: AN ALTERNATIVE TO QUARANTINED PEOPLE. THE CONTRIBUTION THEY MADE IN CHINA TO DEFEAT THE CORONAVIRUS

In questi giorni mi sono chiesto una cosa: Come mai le stesse tecnologie usate in CINA non vengono applicate anche da noi ?

Robot disinfettanti, caschi intelligenti, droni dotati di telecamera termica e software di riconoscimento facciale avanzato sono tutti impiegati nella lotta contro Covid-19 nel cuore dell’epidemia in Cina.

La tecnologia sanitaria viene utilizzata anche per identificare i sintomi del coronavirus, trovare nuovi trattamenti e monitorare la diffusione della malattia.

Robot in soccorso

Diverse aziende cinesi hanno sviluppato tecnologie automatizzate per la somministrazione senza contatto, la disinfezione a spruzzo e l’esecuzione di funzioni diagnostiche di base, al fine di ridurre al minimo il rischio di infezioni incrociate: robot, droni per la conduzione di immagini termiche e per il trasporto di campioni mediti

Big data per controllare la pandemia

Oltre ai robot e ai droni, la Cina ha anche mobilitato il suo sofisticato sistema di sorveglianza per tenere sotto controllo gli individui infetti e far rispettare le quarantene.

Le telecamere di riconoscimento facciale sono comuni in tutta la Cina e ora le aziende stanno aggiornando la loro tecnologia per scansionare le folle alla ricerca di febbre e identificare gli individui che non indossano maschere.

COVID-19: REMOTE WORKING FOR PRODUCTIVE SYSTEM

In this last period of time you can hear him talking about Smart working, remote working, teleworking. Excellent procedures, which we use a lot, for people but who has a production system and machinery to follow what can do ? The biggest problem these days has been the stop of the production departments or the increased risk of people who cannot work from home to follow the production. These problems, in our opinion, could be easily solved thanks to the implementation of Industry 4.0.

The machine tool and plant sector has always distinguished itself in Italy for its quality production offer. Its presence has been fundamental for the success of Italian manufacturing on an international level and for the development of our country’s industry. Today many digital technologies can be applied in order to innovate both internal and collaborative processes:

Sensors and TAGs active in factory processes and industrial products

The “building blocks” of industry 4.0 start from advanced sensor technology that provides real-time information on the status of the production process. The turning point, however, is now in the ability to connect every phase of the factory, networking data and creating new possibilities for control and execution of commands, even remotely, even through an App on your smartphone.

Remote monitoring

Through remote monitoring and control of machinery, creating a continuous flow of information, manufacturers can implement:

  • Reactive maintenancee. remote problem analysis through help desk support;
  • Predictive / proactive maintenance:it is carried out following the identification of one or more parameters that are measured and extrapolated using appropriate mathematical models in order to identify the remaining time before failure;
  • Analysis of product quality and customer behaviour;
  • Safety managementfor example in the processes of tampering and authorized maintenance control.

Augmented reality in maintenance processes

Augmented reality aims to support the identification of the correct working procedures, the tools to be used. The automatic systems allow, once worn and connected, the retrieval of information, diagrams, drawings, codes, useful to improve field activities. Everything happens in full autonomy, thanks to increasingly sophisticated algorithms for the digital recognition of images, able to identify in context and objects on which you are working, and to react accordingly. In the case of remote assistance, a remote specialist uses his expertise in a given field to facilitate the work of the technician. The two interact effectively thanks to the possibility of combining the obsolete verbal communication with some visual interactions. For example, the specialist can impose symbols in the operator’s field of vision to guide the operations to be performed. Thanks to the use of smartglasses and hands-free devices, the technician receives this type of aid while maintaining maximum freedom of action.

A 3D environment to show the technical characteristics of industrial machinery

Industrial machinery can come to life in a unique and memorable 3D environment both as a native app for smartphones and tablets compatible with all devices and on your website. Immersive 3D interaction reinforces your customers’ emotional experience, bringing your content to life online, in social networks or at trade shows, increasing customer engagement and sales.

Publish and spread your product as a native app and on your website to give your customers a unique experience on all their smartphones, tablets and computers. 

From anywhere in the world and H24 your exhibition booth can be accessed with a click and the customer can try out the features of your product.

From product to service – The subscription model

The Industry 4.0 model is not only focused on the recovery of efficiency in production processes, but realizes the most important impact in the evolution from the supply of products to extended services. The impact of digital is changing customer behavior, increasingly shifting consumption patterns from a product logic (single purchase) to a service logic (subscription). Value is shifting from product to service. This is demonstrated by innovative ecosystems such as Apple’s iTunes, Amazon’s Kindle.

Moving towards a service business should by now be a priority for any company of any size, whatever its core business: the evolution of the offer appears to be in the footsteps of a new generation.

Embracing a service business means redirecting sales, production, research, every department of the company: market positioning changes, marketing changes and the way the company proposes itself, production, design and prototyping also change.

The management of Big Data

The processing and analysis of huge amounts of data at ever lower costs (low cost sensor technology and cloud computing) allows better decisions and forecasts on production and consumption and the development of on-demand production systems with the ability to respond to the consumer in a personalized and immediate way. Predictive analytics systems represent the next step in the implementation of business intelligence systems. The latter provide the baseline for the development of predictive models. Such models can be integrated with data from sources not yet present in corporate BI, perhaps through self-service BI tools. Predictive analytics are able to provide competitive advantages to those who adopt them, since they are able to create a tangible reduction in costs and/or an increase in revenues, thanks in particular to a better allocation of resources (marketing, logistics, …) or a faster identification of problems (fraudulent behavior, machine failures, …).

COVID-19: Ventilators Low Cost with Arduino

In questo periodo, in cui le terapie intensive italiane hanno problemi a causa della grave carenza di ventilatori, è nato un progetto per costruirle con Arduino.

L’emergenza sanitaria Covid19 sta mettendo a dura prova il sistema sanitario italiano, soprattutto a causa dei numerosi tagli effettuati nel corso degli anni: personale, strutture, materiali. Sono molte le persone ricoverate in terapia intensiva, molte le persone che hanno bisogno di respiratori artificiali per sopravvivere. Un numero crescente di pazienti in rianimazione ha bisogno di respirazione assistita, ma i respiratori non sono sufficienti. Così c’è chi pensa a un respiratore con Arduino.

Johnny Chung Lee, un ricercatore di Google, ha sviluppato e pubblicato i piani per un ventilatore basato su Arduino su GitHub per consentire a chiunque di progettare il dispositivo da utilizzare nel caso in cui non ci siano più ventilatori disponibili certificati dalla FDA, l’ente statunitense di certificazione delle apparecchiature mediche.

Il progetto si basa sulla conversione di una macchina CPAP (Continuous Positive Pressure Mechanical Ventilation – Ventilazione meccanica a pressione positiva continua) utilizzata nell’apnea del sonno, convertendola in un ventilatore che può aiutare nelle crisi respiratorie. Il creatore sostiene di non essere un medico, esorta a non fidarsi ciecamente di Internet e a consultare personale qualificato per una corretta configurazione dell’apparecchiatura.

Questo rudimentale ventilatore d’emergenza Covid-19 consente una normale frequenza respiratoria e una pressione espiratoria positiva. Fornisce inoltre il 21% di FiO2 atmosferica o se collegato ad un serbatoio 100% O2. Sebbene sia una caratteristica limitata, può essere d’aiuto in altre circostanze in cui non è possibile una migliore assistenza.

Ecco lo schema elettrico del progetto:

Spero che il mondo non arrivi mai alla necessità di costruire un ventilatore a casa, ma se servirà, ecco i link. 

https://github.com/jcl5m1/ventilator

Questa è una guerra e, come in ogni guerra, dobbiamo adattarci per difenderci.

Predictive maintenance is one of the core applications in Industry 4.0

By analyzing vast amounts of data collected from a network of connected sensors installed in production systems, it enables companies to make reliable predictions of how the condition of a machine or system will develop over time and when maintenance is required. However, the conditions of the production systems have a direct influence on the quality of the final product.

Therefore, it is possible to establish a very close link between predictive maintenance and predictive quality. Finally, these new technological scenarios offer opportunities for the development of service models, allowing machine manufacturers to set new standards for managing customer relationships.

Model and infrastructure

The predictive model is at the heart of all predictive maintenance scenarios: the modeling starts with the identification of relevant parameters, such as temperature, pressure, vibration or visual characteristics. The basis is in the historical data. By applying the model to the historical data, the model can be tested to identify its capabilities and the forecast accuracy can be adjusted. Machine Learning technology can support this process, making the model more and more “smart” and increasing its predictive power.

As a prerequisite, the IT infrastructure and networks must be able to handle high volumes of data. Internet of Things and Big Data are the main keywords in this regard. The harmonization of different types of data is of crucial importance to discover hidden correlations between measured values and the propensity to defect. In this context, cloud technology offers some central advantages such as high scalability and global accessibility via the Internet.

The value of JOULEHUB EXPERIENCE

With JOULEHUB EXPERIENCE, JOULEHUB offers a production operations management platform that integrates all shopfloor equipment making data accessible to a wide range of applications. Through JOULEHUB EXPERIENCE, condition monitoring data from the equipment can be easily analyzed for predictive maintenance purposes.

JOULEHUB also supports industrial companies through tailor-made innovation and service design, developing new business models based on the latest technologies and management consulting, to successfully transform companies in line with the paradigms of Industries 4.0.

JOULEHUB can leverage extensive knowledge and experience in all relevant areas, such as Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Data Science and IoT and Architecture.

Predictive maintenance in practice

The higher the quality requirements for a product, the less tolerable the deviations in production parameters become. A metallurgical production site producing high-precision components for the automotive, pharmaceutical, chemical or medical industries can predict material defects with high accuracy by closely monitoring production conditions and the status of production facilities.

These analyses allow rapid adjustments to ongoing production processes and to suspend subsequent production steps to save energy if necessary. On the other hand, the correlations between machine performance and defect susceptibility become visible. Maintenance can be scheduled accordingly to ensure adherence to previously defined thresholds. This proactive maintenance avoids unplanned and costly downtime and contributes to predictive quality assurance.

The main advantage for the manufacturing industry is superior overall equipment efficiency (OEE):

  • Increased availability due to more efficient maintenance planning;
  • Improved product quality through faster identification and removal of quality deviations;
  • Reduce warranty cases and rejects through improved product quality.

Industry 4.0: Benefits

Production

  • Possibility to detect, visualize and modify in real time the production parameters;
  • Possibility of optimizing production according to different criteria;
  • Efficiency of energy consumption;
  • Automatic control of the use of PPE;

Internal logistics

  • automatic movement of goods and their tracking in the company;
  • efficiency of the processes of management of incoming goods;
  • automated management and warehouses;

Purchasing

  • possibility to reorder in an automated way the goods in exhaustion;
  • possibility to have transactions conditioned to the state of the goods;
  • automatic certification of transactions;

Maintenance

  • transition from preventive to predictive maintenance;
  • Increasing operator safety;
  • reduction in operator training times and costs;
  • reduction of machine downtime;

External logistics

  • automation of the loading/unloading of the warehouse in the management system;
  • automation of unloading scheduling;
  • increase of the transporter/internal warehouse coordination;
  • modelling of the behaviours of the different actors along the supply chain;

Distribution and sale

  • acquisition of purchase or interaction data directly from the store shelf;
  • acquisition of real and real time sales data;
  • automation of invoicing.

How Industry 4.0 is giving ERP a new lease of life

There’s no question that the manufacturing industry is moving at a rapid pace. Assembly lines are becoming smarter, R&D becoming more innovative, and operations becoming slicker. Manufacturing businesses are embracing new technologies and utilising everything from the Internet of Things, to smart devices, in order to build a competitive advantage and stay ahead during highly competitive times.

But while new technologies are coming thick and fast, there is one application that has been a vital tool in the manufacturer’s arsenal for the last 50 years. There’s one application that streamlines efficiencies across entire supply chains and there’s one application that is continuing to grow in order to keep up with, and seamlessly integrate with new, more recent technologies. That technology is the humble Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system – a technology that has been around for decades, but which remains the next big thing in Industry 4.0.

Boosting factory efficiency

The smart factory of the future is one that is capable of delivering shorter product runs, manufacturing more complex products with more frequent material changes, resulting in quicker deliveries, different mixes of packaging and distribution, better change forecasting, supply chain management, and product traceability.

ERP has been helping businesses achieve all of this for many years. Yes, the stories of manufacturers saving time and money with ERP are everywhere – and they’re all true, but many of these document a single business process. Imagine the efficiencies that a business could achieve with seamless integration of planning, materials management and procurement, manufacturing, financial and business intelligence processes through one single system. ERP can deliver complete factory automation and unify multiple business processes, and disparate systems to better connect all facets of your supply chain. It can enable you to work smarter, faster, and spend more time focusing on product innovation and servitization, instead of operating manual tasks to try and plug the gaps left in your poorly automated supply chain processes.

Get a handle on those robots

Like it or not, the age of robotation is coming to manufacturing. Industry 4.0 is a period where manufacturing businesses are improving machine uptime, decreasing labour costs, consolidating factory space and saving on capital expenditure – robots facilitate all of these.

However, the introduction of robots to the factory floor means that a busy manufacturing manager now has yet another asset to manage. And what happens when one of them ultimately fails in a way that a human worker rarely does?

By linking robots to your ERP system, and integrating their data streams into your ERP data, you can better schedule robot maintenance and analyse their output to make them move orders forward more effectively. And by using ERP to adjust your product designs and held inventory, you can consistently change and modify your designs and materials to reap even more value from your robots.

Help your business leverage the Internet of Things

From product development to production control and after-sales, connected devices are providing manufacturing businesses with a higher level view of their supply chains and enabling them to make better informed decisions, more quickly. Add the Internet of Things into the mix, and the possibilities for a manufacturing business become endless.

Many manufacturing businesses are starting to fit sensors to their products to analyse their performance in terms of their effectiveness safety levels, durability and other critical values. By sending this information directly to your ERP solution, you can update Bills of Materials, adjust design specifications and adjust processes to continually improve your products through production. By leaving sensors on products post production, you can feed this information into ERP to track the lifecycle of a product and use this information to deliver a greater service to your customers by alerting them when a product may need maintenance, and to streamline or alter your production strategy for continuous product improvement. The use of sensors in manufacturing post production is nothing new, but ERP offers a way to route the masses of data collected by the sensors into your design and engineering processes to enable continuous improvement.

Greater productivity, improved efficiency and higher flexibility are the three traits of any competitive manufacturing business during Industry 4.0 and unsurprisingly, three benefits that ERP can deliver. The businesses that truly thrive during the fourth industrial revolution will be those that continue to use ERP as a mission critical supply chain tool, and continue to think up new and innovative purposes for their solution. After all, ERP has evolved throughout the last 50 years, just imagine where it will be in the next 50?

How design changes with Industry 4.0

Based on the adoption of interconnected and intelligent technologies and solutions, the new paradigm of Industry 4.0 design is gradually changing production processes within Italian manufacturing companies.

However, the digital innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution not only affect the way factories produce, but also invest in the design and engineering techniques of the industrial product.

The 4.0 technologies allow a significant improvement in product design thanks to the integration of software components (sensors, GPS) that, connected to machinery or other physical objects, make it possible to collect data from the field. Making products intelligent through the Internet of Things has many advantages at every stage of the product life cycle, including design.

Access to data and information during the use of an industrial product enables designers to constantly monitor its performance and the way it is used. Thanks to real-time monitoring, for example, it is possible to effectively redesign the infrastructure of the digitized product in order to achieve high levels of energy savings, avoid downtime and consequently optimize production flows.

In the automotive sector, more and more companies are relying on IoT to automate various safety procedures for their vehicles. For example, the design of cars with vehicle proximity control sensors, stop-and-go assistance, emergency brakes or 3D maps enables the collection of information that can be used upstream by designers to improve the consumer driving experience and make it safer.

Once this scenario is outlined, it is quite clear to manufacturing companies that they need to rely on technologies based on data collection to improve not only the production of industrial goods, but also their design. In order for the potential benefits of Smart Manufacturing to become effective, the adoption of 4.0 technologies must therefore be accompanied by the implementation of management systems that make it possible to store, share and use data collected in the field and ensure proper management of information throughout the product lifecycle.
How do you evaluate the design activity in your company?

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Three Phases of prototyping

Prototyping involves more than just the creation of a tactile mockup. It’s both a proof of concept using off the shelf hardware mixed with DIY materials and a fully-functional product constructed of precision-crafted components.

For that reason, new product designs generally go through several prototype iterations before they are deemed ready for the production line. Whereas it’s common to think in terms of a single prototype, the process, in fact, typically results in the creation of multiple iterations.

Indeed, the design process can usually see as many as three to five different prototype phases, with a multitude of test units put through their paces.

To that end, we have partitioned the prototyping process into three classifications: what we’ll call the Alpha, Beta, and Pilot. While different product developers may use alternative terminology such as minimum viable product (MVP) and proof of concept (POC), these phases are fairly universal. Each phase represents a step forward along a product roadmap and corresponds to an increasing score along the Technology Readiness Level scale.

It should be noted, however, that the process itself is usually nonlinear in nature, as developers will occasionally use lessons learned in various test phases to go back and revisit earlier iterations. Depending on what stage along the process you are, the tools, methods, decisions and challenges will be different.

For the sake of clarity we’ve listed prototypes in succession; however, in some cases, prototypes may be developed anywhere along the product development timeline. It’s important to realize that developers design prototypes to match the manufacturing method, so depending on changes and differences it may be necessary to push forward prototypes concurrently.

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We are hiring!!!! Business Development

Location: Luzern Switzerland, Remote work possible

Start date: December 2018

What we do:

JOULEHUB is a R&D laboratory specialized in electronics, robotics and mechanics. We project, create prototype and if the customers need, we can produce also. Our business core is based on:

  • Project
  • Feasibility study
  • Prototype
  • Production

What you are going to do:

  • Responsible for the acquisition of new leads
  • Support us in the development and implementation of the growth strategy
  • Execute and improve daily operations
  • Finalize of the interviews

Contact us today to find out more.

Key Differences Between Production and Prototype Tooling

In product development, testing is a critical factor. In some cases engineers need to demonstrate how a new design will perform as part of management approval for investment into production. In other cases, regulatory requirements require testing of products from representative materials and processes that correspond to those intended. As part of its prototyping methodology, manufacturers often use different strategies for executing prototypes depending on the purpose of the parts. When injection molding is involved in the final product, the use of specially engineered polymers in the product specification may result in the need to injection mold the parts being used in testing in order to get reliable results. Depending on the circumstances, the final production injection molds may be used or separate prototype tooling may be utilized. The goal is to ensure a superior prototype and timely testing, which helps identify design changes before taking a product into full production.

There are a number of key decisions, which go into the prototype tooling process, which enables a design team to select the appropriate build strategy. A key element to consider is the degree of uncertainty or uniqueness of a particular design. The more unique a given design is from a company’s previous manufacturing experience, the more critical it is to test process and product early. Likewise, overall program schedule plays a big factor. The component in need of testing may just be one part of an overall system being developed. Final production tooling timing may be aligned more with the overall system’s development schedule. If so, waiting for production tooling may be a costly risk delaying valuable testing time. In those cases, a simple prototype tool to allow early evaluation of the component or sub-system may be a great investment. Finally, the likelihood a product may change should also be a factor in considering if separate prototype tooling should be used. If a design change is likely or probable, it is better to identify this early rather than executing the change to final production tooling which could require welding on the tool steel or other changes which might compromise the integrity of the mold for long run use.

For both production and prototyping, every tool is different. Two factors, which strongly influence the distinction between the two, are as follows:

  • Production Quantity – The degree of automation in a tool is often correlated with the production quantity intended. High production molds often are highly automated with wear maintenance provisions, sensing and process control capability built into the design. These factors add to the time and cost of the tooling but provide cost and processing efficiencies in the actual volume molding itself. Likewise high production molds are often multi-cavity allowing several parts of the same design to be molded simultaneously. Prototype molds by contrast, typically have limited automation and cavities, saving time and cost in fabrication and thus are suited to low volume molding with quicker development time.
  • Hard vs. Soft Tooling – Another difference between the prototype tooling process and production tooling process has to do with tooling materials. Production tooling is often made from hardened P20, H13 or other tool steel suitable for repeated use and long tool life. Heat-treating and surface hardening or plating are also often utilized. Prototype tools are often called soft tools based on the fact that aluminum and or mild steel are often used. This tooling material can be cut quicker in the machining process allowing for faster and more cost effective prototype tools. The tradeoff however is that tool life may be limited depending on the plastic intended to be molded and processing is not optimized for shortest cycle time. Soft tooling can offer affordability for both production and prototyping. However, because it allows for quick turnarounds of samples, it is often the preferred choice for prototypes.

Tooling is a big investment and cost is always an important deciding factor. Therefore, a manufacturing company will determine which type of tooling makes the most sense from a financial perspective and any product based factors necessary to make the right choice.

Innovative Prototyping and Production Services

The JouleHub team of experts can assist your team in the process of making critical decisions about machines, material, and tooling and providing the support services needed regardless of choice. For a superior quality prototype or product, we would love the opportunity to help. Visit us online or call to speak with a company representative regarding your project.