CORDIS - EU research results

DIGItal MANufacturing Technologies for Zero-defect Industry 4.0 Production

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DIGIMAN4.0 (DIGItal MANufacturing Technologies for Zero-defect Industry 4.0 Production)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-12-31

A necessary condition for the European productive sector to be at the global forefront of technology, ensuring job creation and sustainable growth, is to have access to innovative, entrepreneurial, highly skilled research cross-disciplinary engineers in the fields of production engineering and digital manufacturing technologies. To date, Industry 4.0 is a trending topic across industries, professions and hierarchical levels inside each company. It is a complex topic, the result of many interrelated elements: technical expertise is required in several different fields to achieve a thorough understanding. These types of hybrid and cross-disciplinary profiles are currently extremely rare, and as a matter of fact often not even available, as it is unlikely that any individual can be savvy in each of these fields. Companies, and in particular SMEs (that are the backbone of the industrial economy in many European countries), struggle to embrace the so-called fourth industrial revolution and their uptake of advanced manufacturing solutions remains a challenge.

Industry 4.0 overall identifies a strategy aimed at enabling industry to a transition towards future ways of production. It refers to a set of recent innovations with potential to disrupt value chains, with a substantial impact particularly to the manufacturing sector. Industry 4.0 gravitates around one core rationale: recent progress in a variety of digital technologies has created unprecedented possibilities that result in huge improvements in operational effectiveness for manufacturing industries. The magnitude of this paradigm shift justified referring to Industry 4.0 as being the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. There is a widespread consensus among the different stakeholders in the industry, at research institutions and in academia, that Industry 4.0 consists of essentially 9 clusters of key-enabling digital technologies that can radically innovate and disrupt the current manufacturing paradigms: Big Data and Analytics; Autonomous Robots; Simulation; Horizontal and Vertical System Integration; The Industrial Internet of Things; Cybersecurity; The Cloud; Additive Manufacturing; Augmented Reality. Industry 4.0 enables several synergies among different elements of current production and the new digital technologies. Those synergies can be translated into initiatives and levers with potential to result in considerable improvements in manufacturing processes, with an estimated potential reduction of conversion costs for data‑and‑analytics‑driven applications by up to 20%.

Manufacturing is deeply embedded in the economy and the society, and this is particularly true in Europe. However, even though the European manufacturing industry is among the worldwide technology leaders, the increasing pressure of market demands and of global competition imply the need of expansion of Europe’s manufacturing technologies and capabilities. The key-enabling technologies that will allow to achieve high quality products and significantly reduce the time to market and costs in order to succeed in this global market place are those digital technologies that companies need to embrace and integrate in their organization in order to execute the necessary transformation from their present state into the Industry 4.0 paradigm.

In reply to these needs, the DIGIMAN4.0 ITN provides world excellent research training to 15 ESRs in the field of digital manufacturing technologies for Industry 4.0 .
The DIGIMAN4.0 project objectives are:
(1) To develop, realize and demonstrate innovative technological solutions for high quality, high throughput and high precision production (zero-defect precision mass-manufacturing of high performance products) for the manufacturing industry;
(2) To deliver cutting edge multi-disciplinary training in different domains (Precision Manufacturing Technologies, Digital Manufacturing Technologies, Integrated Production Metrology, Lean Manufacturing, Production Management);
(3) To validate the developed digital manufacturing technologies by integration into process chains for the manufacturing of advanced components in several sectors (medical and health-care, machine tool, hearing aid and micro acoustics, electronics, automotive, aerospace) in an industrial production environment.
• Full specifications of manufacturing process chains and products value chains defined in accordance to industrially relevant cases;
• Full specifications of digitalization of manufacturing process chains;
• Full specifications of process and product digitalization requirements;
• Development of state-of-the-art and beyond state-of-the-art digital manufacturing processes for advanced production towards zero-defect manufacturing;
• Definition, development and implementation of product and process digitalization concepts for the above mentioned manufacturing processes in all ESR projects.

Deliverables between M1 and M24 submitted in due time.

Despite the COVID-19 emergency, all workshops between M1 and M24 have been organized and held.
Alternative settings from in-person workshop to on-line webinar have been realized.

Secondments by all ESRs at their industrial partners were carried out, taking into account the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 emergency, with reduced presence on-site and remote working.
The DIGIMAN4.0 Consortium and in particular the ESRs have very rapidly increased the knowledge on digital manufacturing processes development in their respective production technology domains.
The key breakthrough has been the selection, evaluation, development and establishment in lab-scale settings of product/process digitalization approaches for the different manufacturing technologies included in the DIGIMAN4.0 Consortium.
This is beyond the current state of the art, particularly taking into account the breadth of the industrial processes encompassed in the DIGIMAN4.0 project.
This has been achieved on all the domains of the advanced process technologies of DIGIMAN4.0 in which the ESRs have been able through dedicated experiments to achieve a number of digital innovations in all processes.

Summary of progress beyond state of the art includes:
• Digitalization of polymer extrusion, injection molding and robotic assembly by integration of additive manufacturing technologies;
• Improvement of production performance through data analytics in silicon ingot manufacturing and turbine blades re-manufacturing;
• Improvement of production assembly scheduling through machine learning, collaborative robots, selective assembly algorithm, digital twin;
• Improvement of production quality control process by deep learning and augmented reality;
• Manufacturing processes digitalization and vertical integration in Industry 4.0 production using Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

DIGIMAN4.0 expects to have all the manufacturing process chains and products value chains present in the project digitalized by the end of the project.
The digitalization is expected to be validated in industrial settings at the project partners.
The impact for the involved manufacturing processes is a potential reduction of conversion costs in the order of 20% by using digital solutions developed in the DIGIMAN4.0 project.