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Protocols and Strategies for extending the useful Life of major capital investments and Large Industrial Equipment

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LEVEL-UP (Protocols and Strategies for extending the useful Life of major capital investments and Large Industrial Equipment)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2021-03-31

The ‘take-make-dispose’ consumption model that remains shackled to the global economy, is also affecting production assets. Industry is promoting the transition to a circular economy (CE). Deployment of the evolving digital technologies and realisation of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) enhance machines automation, connectivity and provide large amounts of data that can be interpreted in a way that were not possible before. It offers to companies the opportunity to retrofit their legacy equipment that cannot meet the constantly increasing market demands. However, Industry is still lacking an efficient systemic multi-level approach that enables a cost-effective, holistic, and integrated application of circular principles to the digital uplifting of factory 4.0 capital investments; to avoid a two speed digital transformation across industries in different sectors and enterprises of different sizes.
LEVEL-UP aims to develop a holistic operational and refurbishment framework applicable both to new and existing manufacturing equipment addressing issues at product, process, system as well as the entire value-chain levels, integrating best practices from emerging enabling digital technologies to achieve dynamic utilisation and maintenance with upgraded remedial actions for sustainability. It will offer a scalable platform covering the overall lifecycle, ranging from the modernisation and CPSization actions to diagnose and predict the operation of physical assets, their digital twin set-up and the refurbishment and remanufacturing activities towards their End-off-Life (EoL). In-situ repair technologies and the redesign for new upgraded components will be facilitated through virtual simulations for increased performance and lifetime. LEVEL-UP will therefore comprise new hardware and software components interfaced with the current facilities through internet of things (IoT) and data-management platforms, while being orchestrated through the 10 Circularity Protocols, digitally implemented as the Digital Thread tool.
The LEVEL-UP solution will be demonstrated in the operational environment of 7 different pilot lines around Europe including vertical lathes, milling & grinding machines, transfer presses, woodworking machines, a pultrusion line, an extrusion line and CNC equipment to achieve (i) increased efficiency, (ii) extended lifetime and reliability, and (iii) increased Return on high capital investments.
The following key activities were performed during the 1st Reporting Period:
i. Achieving a consortium wide understanding of the 7 pilot lines AS-IS scenario and the TO-BE scenario, as well as the requirements needed to accomplish that level.
ii. Achieving a consortium wide understanding of the LEVEL-UP System formed by components from the different technical blocks (CPsization, Data analytics, Digital Twins or Remedial actions).
iii. Defining the guidelines for the 10 LEVEL-UP Circularity Protocols for extending the useful lifetime of large industrial equipment and assets.
iv. Several modernization and machinery CPSisation activities were performed in the 7 pilot lines: l sensors, IoT Gateways, PLCs or IoT platforms installation, among other digital elements modifications proposing approaches IIoT solutions, infrastructure and standards (IDS, QIF, etc.) aiming at providing data interoperability at the factory level and enabling data communication from the field to the LEVEL-UP platform (cloud).
v. Reviewing of existing and new strategies for operation and maintenance and mapping of Components to the 8 LEVEL-UP Strategies, to enable implementation in the next phase of the project. Generation of Semantic Model for semantic uplifting of equipment data, allowing components’ efficient interoperability. Creation of KBS for storing asset/product/process data. Design of adoption path for KBS and connection of data consumers. Review on existing Machine Learning technologies. Development of Machine Learning (ML) & Deep Learning (DL) Pipelines.
vi. Developing models and Digital Twins for defective parts, machines and whole production lines. Performing simulations for path accuracy prediction of CNC-machines, for critical stresses in presses, for virtual commissioning and for the prediction of material behavior for repair actions. Making fundamental steps toward an evolving Digital Twin that takes into account maintenance and repair actions.
vii. Developing a general level ROA-model, which makes it possible to compare the following options with each other: purchase of a new machine, repair of an old machine, modernization of an old machine, and purchase of a used machine.
viii. Evaluation of the different pilot lines, finding the best solution in each case to apply, optimize and standardize the related protocols. In the case of inspection: different technologies were proposed to monitor key parameters in-line and integrated on the machine (in-line metrology system, crack detection system and vision systems for quality control). For the Remanufacturing, Repair and Upgrade, the main topic was to study the critical components and find and design the best solution, the suitable remedial action, to improve their functionalities and/or extend their lifetime. For the Recycle protocol an environmental assessment tool is being developed considering all the stages inside the entire life cycle of a specific component or the whole machine itself.
ix. Significant activity delivered in terms of dissemination, standardization and exploitation tasks. During this period, the project website was created ( communication material was designed and events for the project dissemination were identified. In terms of exploitation, the first PEDR of the project was submitted, including the list of Exploitable results, and a preliminary business model canvas for each of the pilot lines. Regarding the Standardization activities, an analysis of the state-of-art of the regulations and standards applying to each technology was performed.
The LEVEL-UP platform encompasses different blocks formed by the Edge services, the Data sharing infrastructure, the Cloud services and enterprise resources and the Repairability services. All LEVEL-UP components, technologies and services developed in the project are linked and connected through the LEVEL-UP system, including the refurbishment, remanufacturing and upgrade framework that will allow the implementation of Reactive, Coordination and Cognitive functions through smart services.
The Reactive Functions are intended for fast reaction and close to machine operation. The Cognitive Functions are intended for rich condition, quality, and sensitivity monitoring and quality prediction, as well as for the suitable production strategy identification. The Coordination functions are the critical element in closing the LEVEL-UP loop bringing to life Call for remedial actions in the form of specific refurbishment, repair, remanufacturing and upgrade tasks through concrete dynamic production plans and production control.
Life time extension of the targeted large machinery and plants by at least 20%.
Increased return on investment from major capital items.
Material and resource efficiency increased by at least 10%.
Creation of novel roles and professions for CE pathway for manufacturing.
Figure 4. Installation of FOS in the ESMA/FAGOR transfer press.
Figure 2. LEVEL-UP concept.
Figure 1. LEVEL-UP Circularity Protocols.
Figure 3. Circularity Protocols overall flow.