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Support the operator

Production transparency

The potential of maintenance robots in the process industry  

The Kennis- en Innovatiecentrum Maintenance Procesindustrie (Ki<|MPi; Process Industry Maintenance Knowledge and Innovation Centre) and ten partners from Flanders and the Southern Netherlands, including Sirris, are developing innovative robotics applications for maintenance in the process industry in the Smart Tooling project, subsidised by Interreg Flanders-Netherlands. SMEs and service providers from the border area between Belgium and the Netherlands are being involved as partners to develop technical solutions in close collaboration with knowledge institutions. The idea is to strengthen the process industry by working more cost effectively and safely. The project is split into four main themes: cleaning, inspection, workshop and unmanned aircraft system. These projects work on the innovations in accordance with their own schedule.

 

Sirris is involved in the workshop topic, in the 'leakage detection' and 'augmented reality' subthemes. Leakage detection focuses on detecting leaks using cobots. The cobot will use a probe to 'sniff out' a potential leak on the pressurised valves deployed in the process industry. The Dutch company Industrial Testing & Inspection Services (ITIS) is participating as a partner and collaborates with Sirris. 

 

The augmented reality theme focuses on the digital support of engineers during inspection activities and repair instructions at the workshop. The expected result of the digital support is increased efficiency, fewer administration tasks and higher quality. Sirris collaborates with Augnition based in Ghent and Iristick based in Antwerp for this.  

Sirris researches the potential of a mobile cobot

With the arrival of the KMR iiwa at our site in Diepenbeek, Belgium Sirris has (temporarily) acquired a cobot 'with arms and legs’. This cobot is available to our experts to discover its potential and to interested companies to test it. 

 

The KMR iiwa, the combination of a robot arm and an AGV, brings together the strengths of a sensitive, lightweight cobot, the LBR iiwa, with a mobile, autonomous platform. Its maximum mobility, precision and autonomy can significantly optimise the production of our companies and make this cobot extremely suitable to meet the requirements of Industry 4.0.

 

Sirris is setting up a demo to thoroughly understand and map the potential and limitations of this mobile cobot. The knowledge that is obtained is used to support companies that come to meet the KMR iiwa. 

Integration of cobots at SMEs

Cobots can be used in an infinite number of ways. How do you start in practice? During one of the four hands-on workshops about collaborative robots (cobots), that took place alternatively at our sites in Kortrijk and Diepenbeek (both in Belgium), Sirris consultants supported participants during the first steps of implementing a specific task. In 2017, a total of 55 participants gained experience with our systems..

Sawyer, un robot flexible prêt pour des essais en production industrielle

Le 25 avril 2017, Sirris et l’Agence provinciale de Développement (POM) de la Flandre-Occidentale ont présenté Sawyer, le robot collaboratif de Rethink Robotics, dans le Smart & Digital Factory Lab à Courtrai. Cette présentation a été très appréciée par la presse et l’industrie. Grâce à ce cobot monobras, les entreprises peuvent désormais davantage et mieux exploiter le vaste savoir-faire et l’infrastructure unique que Sirris met à disposition pour les aider à découvrir cette technologie, à développer et tester des applications et à évaluer la possibilité de leur mise en œuvre dans des situations spécifiques. 

 

Sawyer est homologué CE et peut donc être mis en œuvre dans la production industrielle. Il a été conçu pour s’adapter rapidement aux changements de l’environnement de production. Dans ce contexte, il est assez agile pour changer rapidement d’application et réaliser des tâches comme le feraient des humains. Ce cobot flexible et interactif est notamment destiné au chargement de machines, au test de circuits imprimés, aux opérations d’assemblage et à d’autres tâches de précision dans un contexte high-mix low-volume. Autant de tâches typiques qu’il était auparavant difficile d’automatiser avec les robots industriels classiques. 

Une ligne d’assemblage intelligente pour la production rentable de petites séries 

Sirris is raising up to the current and future production challenges by building a completely new demonstrator to allow companies to test the opportunities of Industry 4.0. On 18 October, the new pilot line for cost-effective production of small production runs was officially launched. More than 200 people from the industry sector visited our Smart & Digital Factory in Kortrijk (Belgium).

 

The smart assembly line meets the requests from the industry sector regarding digitisation and increasing complexity and the need for low-threshold solutions for a more efficient production and user-friendly intervention to support the operator. Switching over to a higher response time is also required. This can be done by reducing the production volume to a single-piece flow and the production buffer to zero and using one-touch logistics and self-controlled production cells.

 

Our test version of the factory of the future consists of a six-cell assembly line, according to Industry 4.0 principles and imbued with the QRM (Quick Response Manufacturing) concept. The starting point is an operator who must be able to work efficiently. This is realised through the support of various technologies, such as a cobot, AGV, and digital work instructions that are projected on a screen or the work surface. With the new test set-up, Sirris proves that an SME with a budget of 100,000 to 150,000 euros can build a smart assembly cell using technology that is currently available on the market. The ROI is based on improvements in man productivity, quality control and increasing production speed and flexibility. A repayment period of less than three years is and should be possible.