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Commercial validation of iPROCELL: a novel modular assembly practice

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - iProcell (Commercial validation of iPROCELL: a novel modular assembly practice)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-09-30

The iPROCELL project reaches markets with currently unmet needs. This market is production and assembly of large consumer products such as vehicles, white goods and furniture that is being produced on an economic scale that fits between manual manufacture and full mass production line assembly methods. In our primary target market of Electric Vehicles (EV’s), where small batches of units are produced, neither manual or mass production methods are cost effective.
During this Feasibility Study, a key action completed was to validate our route to market, this was achieved by: concluding that our primary market is in the automotive industry (particularly EV’s) with our secondary markets in the furniture and home appliance industries; demonstrating the expected return on investment for these target markets and how this compares to the state-of-the-art; and producing a suitability matrix to enable first adopters of the technology. We have developed a sales model which has been validated by voice of customer (VoC) interview. The market has been responsive during this study with several sales opportunities and letters of support gathered during our VoC task delivery. We have also created a logistics plan to determine the end-users supply chain requirements for a decentralised final assembly and identified the necessary end-user trial partners. These outputs have strengthened our business proposition and confirmed the strategic vision in terms of capitalising on the opportunity. As a result, we intend to proceed with an application for Phase 2 funding.
iPROCELL is a fully automated final assembly cell, with 3 autonomous robots situated around a central build location; it’s footprint is 12 times smaller than traditional production lines. Our novel modular construction practice provides a cost effective, fully automated, final assembly solution that brings benefits to both the consumer and the supplier.
• Space and cost saving to manufacturers with our small footprint enabling decentralised production practices
• Decentralisation builds new regional supply chains and boosts local economies
• Time and cost saving to consumers, from decentralisation and our lean manufacturing model
• Increased customisation available to customers at no additional time or cost with flexible manufacturing
• Increased factory effectiveness with production of successively different products
• High quality production, with SOA robotics and IoT maintained product warranties
A close up of an iPROCELL robot
iPROCELL demonstrating a modular build EV at Hannover Messe