Selected Topic: Digitizing Industry
The use of IoT on different industries is establishing a new technological paradigm for manufacturing and sales. The possibilities of the new Industry 4.0, fostered by additive manufacturing, goes from a web-based integration of production lines to the possibility of high quality personalized products. In the Brazilian scenario, however, the use of such technologies is moving slowly. In this sense, the promotion of IoT solutions through joint university-industry activities may be the main path towards disseminating the possibilities of this technology, including flexible manufacturing through a robotic additive manufacturing approach.
According to the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI), the intensive use of digital technologies in Brazilian industry is less widespread. In 2016, about 58% of the overall amount of industries were aware of this importance for competitiveness, but less than half use these technologies. In addition, this maximum organization of the Brazilian industrial sector states that Industry 4.0 can be leveraged in Brazil, for example, through the creation of demonstration platforms that encourage and motivate companies to adopt digital technologies for industrial production. Companies which invest and become experts in the Industry 4.0 fundamentals certainly will become more competitive. Initiatives on these challenges can show to the industries that Advanced Manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things and Additive Manufacturing and Robotics, among others innovative areas, allow to integrate physical and digital technologies, to combine product development, manufacturing and logistics planning, and to link systems, machines and human labour.
The referred innovative solutions can bring positive effects on efficiency and quality of products and services fostering an improvement of productivity, flexibility, and profitability, among others business demands for reaching competitiveness. Therefore, initiatives such as FASTEN can promote the conditions to consolidate a breeding environment for Industry 4.0 that allows to strengthen the Brazilian industry’s sustainability.
The advent of the Industry 4.0 is posing several challenges for industries - for instance the pace of change, technologies to adopt, and user integration into the development process. In this context, digital technologies such as cloud infrastructures, big data and artificial intelligence, along with physical advancements in smart materials, nanotechnology and 3D printing play a key role in such fast developing scenario (Kumar, 2018). In line with the Industry 4.0 new paradigm, FASTEN project aims to develop, demonstrate, validate and disseminate an integrated and modular framework for efficiently producing custom-designed products. Hence, FASTEN will demonstrate an open and standardized framework to produce and deliver tailored-designed products, capable to run autonomously and deliver fast and low-cost additive manufactured products. This is expected to be achieved by effectively pairing digital integrated service/products to additive manufacturing processes, on top of tools for decentralizing decision-making and data interchange. It is considered the application of sophisticated software technologies for self-learning, self-optimizing, and advanced in order to build a full connected additive manufacturing system. Two use cases benefit of FASTEN project, they are ThyssenKrupp in Brazil and Embraer in Portugal. These companies will have the opportunity to have flexible solutions to address problems such as the increasing demand diversity, products with shorter life cycles, and the need for supplying low volumes per order. The overall benefits envisioned for FASTEN is to provide industrial innovations capable to effectively manufacture and deliver personalized products.
2. Producing and delivering tailored-designed products
The widespread use of internet is changing the way supply chain echelons interact with each other in order to respond to increasing customer requests of personalized products and services (Daugherty et al., 2014). For this reason, one of FASTEN activities is to develop a manufacturing system for tailored-designed products through Additive Manufacturing (AM).
Additive manufacturing is a technique that consists of the reproduction of CAD drawings into solid 3D parts by the fusion of several layers of a specific material, either in the form of plastic or metal powder (Scott & Harrison, 2015). The 3D parts can be used as parts of an assembly, final products, or in the manufacturing of parts for Maintenance, Repair and Overall (MRO) operations (Khajavi et al., 2014) - which is the application foreseen by FASTEN. Since AM parts are printed on its final form, tolling is not significantly necessary, thus reducing production time and expenses. It is also economically feasible to produce small batches (especially one-of-a-kind), as it is to perform quick changes in design and customization. AM has also potential to reduce the number of suppliers, lead time, transportation services and inventories (Holmström et al, 2010).
3. Delivering fast and low-cost additive manufactured products
To cope with an increasing demand diversity, products with shorter life cycles, and low volumes per order, manufacturing companies need flexible solutions, capable to effectively manufacture and fast deliver low-cost personalized products. With the FASTEN application, the objective is to accelerate the integration between products design and manufacturing, effectively controlling and assessing the performance of the whole manufacturing systems. This integration will be achieved by combining simulation, optimization, and analytics tools, to virtualize the whole system, thus providing a high degree of flexibility and agile decision-making in real-time. These technologies will effectively approximate customers to products, and significantly reduce the global operational costs, leading to low unitary costs of custom-designed products and fast deliveries.
4. Concluding statement
FASTEN can have an enormous impact on the Brazilian and Portuguese industrial economies and markets by introducing a framework for dealing with Industry 4.0. It will use a standardized framework based on available standards - hardware and open-source software - customized to deliver fast and low cost additive manufactured parts for efficiently producing tailored-designed products.
Daugherty, P., Banerjee, P., Negm, W., & Alter, A.E. (2014) Driving Unconventional Growth Through the Industrial Internet of Things. Accenture Technology. Retrieved from http://www.mcrockcapital.com/uploads/1/0/9/6/10961847/accenture-driving-....
Holmström, J., Partanen, J., Tuomi, J., & Walter, M. (2010). Rapid Manufacturing in the Spare Parts Supply Chain: Alternative Approaches to Capacity Deployment. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 21(6), 687-697.
Khajavi, S. H., Partanen, J., & Holmström, J. (2014). Additive Manufacturing in the Spare Parts Supply Chain. Computers in Industry, 65(1), 50-63.
Kumar, A. (2018) Methods and Materials for Smart Manufacturing: Additive Manufacturing, Internet of Things, Flexible Sensors and Soft Robotics. Manufacturing Letters 15, 122-125.
Scott, A., & Harrison, T. P. (2015). Additive Manufacturing in an End-to-End Supply Chain
Setting. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, 2(2), 65-77.
Paper File: FASTEN_CloudscapeBrazil_Natal_2018_Paper.docx