The objective of the MICROSEC project is to enhance micro wave (MW) sensor technology and apply it for the development of an innovative, highly robust and easy to maintain monitoring and control system for the dosage and mixing process, which is one of the quality critical domains in the manufacture of concrete products. The thorough analysis of these processes has indicated that accuracy and robustness of the moisture measurements, as well as reliability and easy maintenance of the monitoring & control systems are the most critical issues, taking into account the sensitivity of the process and expertise of the staff at SMEs in this industrial sector. Solving these problems is one of the basic requirements w.r.t. the business strategies of companies in this sector, which to a great extent are SME type companies. To achieve this, RTD activities towards improvements of MW technology and sensor based control concepts are needed. The specific objectives of MICROSEC are: - Development of advanced new Multiple Frequency Micro Wave (MFMW) sensor systems (sensor components and processing of information) for the multiple parameter on line observation of several critical variables (moisture, density, grain size etc.) and parameters during the dosage/mixing process. - Elaboration of enhanced monitoring & control concepts for reliable and fault tolerant control strategies and remote maintenance in order to solve the identified reliability problem of the moisture measurement process, and the development of an innovative, robust, remote maintainable monitoring & control system based on the new MFMW sensor system. All these improvements will provide considerable benefits for the SME partners at concrete production sites (e.g. material savings of at least 15%, cost savings for energy and tools of at least 10%, savings in operational costs etc.). An increase in productivity of about 15% based on the higher efficiency of the dosage/mixing process, as well as an increase in the quality of concrete products of approximately 25 % are expected. The SME partners from sensor and control system technology sectors will obtain improved technology resulting in pre competitive solutions which will enable them to considerably increase their market shares in this specific industrial sector. The project includes certain technical risks, such as risks w.r.t. to possibilities to fulfil the specific industrial requirements, reliability problem, the problem related to the market available MW sensor technology which is not able to separate the influence of changes in the raw material features regarding moisture value, etc. However, initial laboratory and field tests with 2 MW sensors operating in parallel on different frequencies have shown the possibility to identify changes in the raw material features on line with a MFMW sensor. Such an approach is very promising w.r.t. providing effective solutions for the stated problems. In order to minimise the risk that MICROSEC's developed advanced sensor based monitoring & control system will be applicable in different production plants, the consortium includes end user SMEs from Northern and Southern Europe representing the 2 key different environmental and socio/economic conditions in EU.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
55124 Mainz - Gonsenheim