Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Handling flexible materials with less time and effort

Most manufacturing companies that handle cable or delicate materials nowadays rely heavily on automation control systems. In many cases, such automated control is both extremely complex and suffers difficulties when dealing with materials that have low thresholds for stress and strain. An Italian partner of the HANDFLEX research project introduces software design tools for the use or manufacturing of flexible and inflexible materials.
Handling flexible materials with less time and effort
At present, most industries handle flexible and rigid materials manually or with the help of mechanical gears, i.e. winches and cranes. Yet, materials that cannot be bent, twisted, pulled or submitted to stress require a more delicate and effective treatment. EICAS moves a step further by collecting, stocking, transporting or installing delicate material with the aid of an automation formula. As a result, the company saves time, labour and expenses.

Part of the solution of avoiding coiling and uncoiling flexible materials manually, such as cables for power or signal transmission, involves the rationalisation and automation of Cable Manufacturing Operations. Once adopted by the Electric Cable Industry, the latter is bound to save millions of Euro's per year.

In order to achieve such rationalisation and automation, the company introduces the use of proprietary software tools incorporated in a control design software package. These tools help design a robotised system for the automatic coiling and uncoiling of submarine cables. Once these cables are collected and dispensed by special equipment, they are carried from the stocking tanks to a cable dispenser ship. The newly designed robot is then set in the factories to take care of such flexible materials during every phase of their production.

Other industries are also likely to benefit from this particular software technology, namely Textiles and Plywood. In addition, it can be used in clothing, wood products, machine tools and telecommunication systems. Although not yet designed in full, the Italian manufacturer warmly encourages companies involved in this novel potential system of handling flexible and inflexible materials to use and exploit this highly innovative and futuristic technology to the best of their interest.
Record Number: 81153 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Industrial Technologies
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