Philips Drachten produces shavers and shaving heads, and is a leader in Lean Manufacturing and closely involved in the Smart Industry Roadmap. Together with other companies and organizations, Philips is continuously researching more effective production methods. Its next step is to make production processes self-learning to enable production systems to respond autonomously to possible problems in the process. The pilot will serve as a blueprint for the architecture of new production lines. Besides real-time measurements and analyses, the biggest challenge is the automatic compiling of decision rules.
The wireless headsets of Plantronics in Emmen are manually assembled in Malaysia. This is becoming increasingly difficult owing to the miniaturization of the components. An automatic assembly line is being developed in this pilot. The line is being set up in Emmen, which turns out well for all concerned. Since the new versions follow on quickly from each other Plantronics prefers to conduct the test runs close to home in order to closely monitor the ability to manufacture the products.
Cadmatic in Groningen (formerly NCG) is the a global supplier of CAD/CAM software for the building of ships. Product Data Management (PDM) systems are being used more and more often in the shipbuilding industry. In this pilot a new generation interface is being built between the CAD/CAM and PDM systems based on the latest insights and technology, which will be a world debut for Cadmatic. For this purpose the company is drawing on experiences in the aviation and car industry among the partners in the RoSF consortium. The interface between the CAD/CAM and PDM systems represents an important step towards the First Time Right development of ships.
Making contact lenses and intra-ocular lenses for the medical market calls for customization, and the handling of the products is a time-consuming business. NKL (Emmen, contact lenses) and Ophtec (Groningen, intra-ocular lenses for eye surgery) are joining partners in RoSF to develop a unique 3D vision system to carry out quality inspections entirely inline. This is currently done retrospectively by means of random sampling. The new system will make it possible to produce customized products in series. NKL and Ophtec are thus taking a lead in drawing the lens production sector into the 4th industrial revolution.
The Internet of Things (IoT) opens the door to the creation of customer-specific products and services, with a special focus on new applications for the emerging health-tech market. In this pilot, Region-of-Smart-Factories (RoSF) partners collaborate – under the leadership of Philips Drachten – to develop new architectures and embedded sensor systems for personalized Consumer Care products and services.
Fokker will shortly be launching the E-Lighter, a portable lightweight fuel cell for military personnel. This is a highly complex product with a production process consisting of many steps. Minor variations can result in the products ultimately being rejected. This pilot is being used to develop an advanced sensor network to monitor product quality inline and in realtime rather than offline and retrospectively. This is a precondition for placing the E-Lighter on the market under the right conditions.
Philips uses numerical simulation models to develop the most important part of the shaver: the shaving head. While developing these models, Philips often collaborates with universities in the Netherlands and abroad. Philips plays a major role in modeling nationally and abroad. This pilot aims to develop standards to link various processes and to avoid sub-optimizations in order to ensure correct design choices are made at an early stage.
CIG Centraalstaal is a major player. The Groningen-based company supplies steel components, often featuring a complex geometry, as building kits for shipbuilding and prestigious architecture projects, for example. With this pilot CIG Centraalstaal, together with the partners in the RoSF consortium, is taking a big step towards becoming the first Smart Factory for steel construction. The first stage involves the development of a platform that is used to automatically convert customers’ product data into usable control information for the factory. This is currently still being done manually, which is time-consuming and prone to errors. The production machines are being adapted to this and there will be a new platform to refine the data in order to continuously improve the processes.
Performance-based sail design and sail trim system
Designing sails is a costly and time-consuming business. The process calls for a lot of professional knowledge and the sails have to be tested in practice (empirically). The time has come for the next step. Van Oossanen, a big name in the sail making sector, uses numerical models to predict the properties of sails and to optimize them (First Time Right). The know-how for this is provided by partners in the consortium such as Philips and Fokker. This is being facilitated by the design of an innovative sensor system to measure sail properties. The sensor system carries a number of interesting added advantages. It provides the skipper with current information, but can also be developed into an automatic sail trim system.
A Smart Factory is full of inline sensors, in which vision technology plays an important role. Vision has to be intelligent and robust and to be able to monitor on demand: customized monitoring. This theme is being taken up in the ZiuZ pilot. Together with the RoSF partners, ZiuZ is developing an inspection machine that checks whether patients are administered the right dose of medication. The system has to 100% reliably recognize constantly changing doses in a flow process.