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See detailDigitization of the work environment for sustainable production
Plapper, Peter UL; Mangers, Jeff UL

Book published by GITO (2022)

Global pandemics, devastating wars and natural disasters with increasing frequency and impact are disrupting previously carefully balanced manufacturing networks. All industrial companies are required to ... [more ▼]

Global pandemics, devastating wars and natural disasters with increasing frequency and impact are disrupting previously carefully balanced manufacturing networks. All industrial companies are required to examine their operations and adjust accordingly. The increasing cost of resources require enterprises to re-design their value creation processes to be more sustainable, to optimize the supplier network to become more resilient and to accelerate digitizing of operations to enhance operational effectiveness. This year's WGAB research seminar is themed around Digitization of the work environment for sustainable production and seeks to contribute solutions to the current challenges. The scientific discourse aims to advance the sustainable and data-based organization of value creation processes. Exemplary efforts for the sustainable production of 3D printed footwear and the circular supply chain of energy production will be discussed. With advances in sensory data collection in cyber-physical production systems (CPPS), there are new opportunities for sensing the status of manufacturing systems, which enable advanced data analytics to contribute to a sustainable production. Intelligent processes enable sustainable value creation and bi-directional knowledge exchange between humans and machines. With people at the centre of the CPPS, production systems shall be both adaptive and personalized for every worker. People need to be involved in the technological and organizational changes. Simulating the migration from a linear economy to a circular economy supports the trend of regionalized production networks. Digital assistance systems are tested to back up resilient manufacturing. We would like to thank all authors for their efforts in preparing the contributions, which are valuable inputs to the discourse to solve the current challenges. [less ▲]

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See detailA Holistic Methodology to Deploy Industry 4.0 in Manufacturing Enterprises
Kolla, Sri Sudha Vijay Keshav UL

Doctoral thesis (2022)

In the last decade, the manufacturing industry has seen a shift in the way products are produced due to the integration of digital technologies and existing manufacturing systems. This transformation is ... [more ▼]

In the last decade, the manufacturing industry has seen a shift in the way products are produced due to the integration of digital technologies and existing manufacturing systems. This transformation is often referred to as \textbf{Industry 4.0} (I4.0), which guarantees to deliver cost efficiency, mass customization, operational agility, traceability, and enable service orientation. To realize the potential of I4.0, integration of physical and digital elements using advanced technologies is a prerequisite. Large manufacturing companies have been embracing the I4.0 transformation swiftly. However, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) face challenges in terms of skills and capital requirements required for a smoother digital transformation. The goal of this thesis is to understand the features of a typical manufacturing SME and map them with the existing (e.g. Lean) and I4.0 manufacturing systems. The mapping is then used to develop a Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) to measure the maturity of a manufacturing entity. The SAT developed in this research has a critical SME focus. However, the scope of the SAT is not limited to SMEs and can be used for large companies. The analysis of the maturity of manufacturing companies revealed that the managerial dimensions of the companies are more mature than the technical dimensions. Therefore, this thesis attempts to fill the gap in technical dimensions especially Augmented Reality (AR) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) through laboratory experiments and industrial validation. A holistic method is proposed to introduce I4.0 technologies in manufacturing enterprises based on maturity assessment, observations, technical road map, and applications. The method proposed in this research includes SAT, which measures the maturity of a manufacturing company in five categorical domains (\textbf{dimensions}): Strategy, Process and Value Stream, Organization, Methods and Tools, and Personnel. Furthermore, these dimensions are attributed to 36 modules, which help manufacturing companies measure their maturity level in terms of lean and I4.0. The SAT is tested in 100 manufacturing enterprises in Grande Région consisting of the pilot study (n=20) and maturity assessment (n=63). The observations from the assessment are then used to set up the technological road map for the research. AR and IIoT are the two technologies that are associated with the least mature modules, which are explored in depth in this thesis. A holistic method is incomplete without industry validation. Therefore, the above-mentioned technologies are applied in two manufacturing companies for further validation of the laboratory results. These applications include 1) the application of AR for maintenance and quality inspection in a tire manufacturing industry, and 2) the application of retrofitting technology for IIoT on a production machine in an SME. With the validated assessment model and the industrial applications, this thesis overall presents a holistic approach to introducing I4.0 technologies in manufacturing enterprises. This is accomplished through identifying the status of the company using maturity assessment and deriving the I4.0 roadmap for high potential modules. The skill gap in the addressed technologies is compensated by designing and testing prototypes in the laboratory before applying them in the industry. [less ▲]

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See detailThe durability of stainless steel-polyamide laser joined assemblies
Amne Elahi, Mahdi UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Procedia CIRP (2022), 111

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See detailModeling and Control of Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing
Mbodj, Natago Guilé UL

Doctoral thesis (2022)

Metal Additive Manufacturing (MAM) offers many advantages such as fast product manufacturing, nearly zero material waste, prototyping of complex large parts and the automatization of the manufacturing ... [more ▼]

Metal Additive Manufacturing (MAM) offers many advantages such as fast product manufacturing, nearly zero material waste, prototyping of complex large parts and the automatization of the manufacturing process in the aerospace, automotive and other sectors. In the MAM, several parameters influence the product creation steps, making the MAM challenging. In this thesis, we modelize and control the deposition process for a type of MAM where a laser beam is used to melt a metallic wire to create the metal parts called the Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing Process (LWAM). In the dissertation, first, a novel parametric modeling approach is created. The goal of this approach is to use parametric product design features to simulate and print 3D metallic objects for the LWAM. The proposed method includes a pattern and the robot toolpath creation while considering several process requirements of LWAM, such as the deposition sequences and the robot system. This technique aims to develop adaptive robot toolpaths for a precise deposition process with nearly zero error in the product creation process. Second, a layer geometry (width and height) prediction model to improve deposition accuracy is proposed. A machine learning regression algorithm is applied to several experimental data to predict the bead geometry across layers. Furthermore, a neural network-based approach was used to study the influence of different deposition parameters, namely laser power, wire-feed rate and travel speed on bead geometry. The experimental results shows that the model has an error rate of (i.e., 2∼4%). Third, a physics-based model of the bead geometry including known process parameters and material properties was created. The model developed for the first time includes critical process parameters, the material properties and the thermal history to describe the relationship between the layer height with different process inputs (i.e., the power, the standoff distance, the temperature, the wire-feed rate and the travel speed). The numerical results show a match of the model with the experimental measurements. Finally, a Model Predictive Controller (MPC) was designed to keep the layer height trajectory constant, considering the constraints and the operating range of the parameters of the process inputs. The model simulation result shows an acceptable tracking of the reference height. [less ▲]

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See detailDigital Twin for Human–Robot Interactions by Means of Industry 4.0 Enabling Technologies
Gallala, Abir; Kumar, Atal Anil UL; Hichri, Bassem UL et al

in Sensors (2022), 22(13), 1-17

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See detailAdaptive model to increase resilience for emerging supply chains within the circular economs - 'Zirkelmesser' an innovative case study
Mangers, Jeff UL; Wieck, Franz; Nicolas, Jana et al

in Procedia CIRP (2022)

Variations in quantities, qualities and time availability of input materials pose a major risk to circular supply chains (CSC) and require new models for creating and evaluating adaptive and resilient CSC ... [more ▼]

Variations in quantities, qualities and time availability of input materials pose a major risk to circular supply chains (CSC) and require new models for creating and evaluating adaptive and resilient CSC in the circular economy (CE). This can be achieved by consistently modelling the overarching relationship between resource input- and output streams, without neglecting the associated risks. The model proposed below consists of five components which are based on five resilience requirements for SCs and provides a data-based recommended course of action for managers at a low entry-barrier. It consists of a CSC visualization, a safety stock calculation, a risk monitoring for each SC node, a reporting logic, and a measurement catalogue. The inspiration for this model came from an innovative case study (“Zirkelmesser”) in the metal processing industry in which secondary products and materials are used to produce new products. Here, the problem of maintaining the resource supply arose and led to resilience issues. The mentioned case study is used as an application example for the model application and helps to make emerging circular supply chains predictable and better manageable, thus increasing their resilience. [less ▲]

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See detailDIGITAL TWIN FRAMEWORK FOR HUMANROBOT INTERACTION BY MEANS OF INDUSTRY 4.0 ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES
Gallala, Abir UL

Doctoral thesis (2022)

The introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies has shaped the old form of manufactures. Despite the enormous existence of technologies such as IoT, CPS, AI or collaborative and autonomous robots in the ... [more ▼]

The introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies has shaped the old form of manufactures. Despite the enormous existence of technologies such as IoT, CPS, AI or collaborative and autonomous robots in the industrial environment and while the main objective of Industry 4.0 is to implement a better connected, flexible and smarter industrial environment, some aspects still lack to be better integrated and implemented. Among these aspects, the human-robot interaction, collaborative robot programming and simulation which still need many improvements in order to fit in the new smart environments where cobots and humans work together in hybrid teams. This research envisions the future of robot programming and robot simulation in industrial environment where humans and robots work side by side in hybrid teams. The main objective of this work was to build and demonstrate a new digital twin-based framework that is designed to enhance the human-robot interaction, robot programming and realtime in-real-environment simulation. The proposed approach required to afford a flexible real-time service-based framework for both vertical and horizontal integration. It also needed to provide an intuitive and human-friendly usage for any unskilled worker. This dissertation introduces the main six steps of the digital twin for human-robot interaction proposed framework which was adapted and modified from the common 5-C architectural design of CPSs. Its flexible architecture grants a robust integration of new devices, systems or APIs. Since this framework was initially designed for human-robot interaction, its capabilities was demonstrated through a use case study and implementation. The first three-C steps of the method (Connect, Collect and Combine) should be initiated at the beginning but executed only one time during each process life-cycle. Connection establishment between physical and digital worlds is guaranteed in step one. Data Collection from physical devices was done in step two. Combining both worlds in one scene and synchronization between twin models was accomplished during step three. Data analysis, algorithms generation and motion planning are processed in step four. Then, a simulation of digital model generated motions was visualized through mixed reality interfaces and while enabling user interaction was executed during step five. At t he e nd, after approval, robot movements are generated and actions are made by the physical twin. All-along the six steps, an horizontal technological architecture was used. First, an IoT Gateway infrastructure was established to maintain the real-time data exchange between the system’s different components. Then, a MR-based immersive interface was developed through many phases to enable digital world set-up, visualization, simulation and interaction using human gestures. At the meanwhile, a broker was implemented to handle diverse tasks mainly citing the motion planning and the AI-based object pose estimation defining. The broker is also responsible on new elements integration. At the end, implemented system approved the main objectives of the proposed research methodology which are: • Intuitive robot programming: any unskilled worker can program the robot thanks to the human-friendly interface and the autonomous assistance capabilities of the robot while estimating position and planning motions. • Realistic simulation: a simulation done in real environment with unpredicted real conditions and objects. • Flexible system integration: it is easy to integrate new devices and features thanks to the broker master interface that connects all separated elements with all their diverse interfaces and platforms. [less ▲]

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See detailSustainability and Circular Economy in Learning Factories – Case Studies
Weyand, Astrid; Thiede, Sebastian; Mangers, Jeff UL et al

in SSRN (2022, April 11)

Since the mitigation of climate change is one of the biggest challenges to face on a global scale, the topic has become more relevant also in industrial context. Learning factories have proven to be ... [more ▼]

Since the mitigation of climate change is one of the biggest challenges to face on a global scale, the topic has become more relevant also in industrial context. Learning factories have proven to be suitable environments to address and convey competencies to tackle industrial challenges in an interactive way. Hence, several learning factories are already dealing with sustainability topics in various use cases. This paper strives to present a state of the art of sustainability and circular economy in learning factories. Therefore, a classification framework is developed based on the state of the art of several learning factories and existing literature regarding the topic. This framework is then used to systematically describe the different activities regarding sustainability and circular economy that are currently ongoing in learning factories worldwide. This can be used to get an idea about the different aspects of the topic and how to address them, but furthermore also offers assistance to identify “blind spots” which could and should be addressed in learning factories in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailRetrofitting of legacy machines in the context of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
Kolla, Sri Sudha Vijay Keshav UL; Machado Lourenço, Diogo UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Procedia Computer Science (2022, February 08), 200

In the context of Industry 4.0 (I 4.0), one of the most important aspects is data, followed by the capital required to deploy advanced technologies. However, most Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are ... [more ▼]

In the context of Industry 4.0 (I 4.0), one of the most important aspects is data, followed by the capital required to deploy advanced technologies. However, most Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are neither data ready nor have the capital to upgrade their existing machinery. In SMEs, most of the legacy machines do not have data gathering capabilities. In this scenario, the concept of retrofitting the existing machinery with sensors and building an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is more beneficial than upgrading the equipment to newer machinery. The current research paper proposes a simple architecture on retrofitting a legacy machine with external sensors for data collection and feeding the cloud-based databases for analysis/monitoring purposes. The design and functional aspects of the architecture are then tested in a laboratory environment on a drilling machine with no embedded sensors. Data related to the speed of the drill head and the bore depth are collected using newly retrofitted sensors to validate the proposed architecture. [less ▲]

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See detailLaser welding of copper to aluminum with spiral trajectory and identification of excessive aluminum melting
Mathivanan, Karthik UL; Plapper, Peter UL; Mathivanan, Karthik UL

in Journal of Laser Applications (2022)

Laser welding of copper and aluminum is challenging due to the formation of complex intermetallic phases. Only a defined amount of Al and Cu can be melted because of the limited solubility of Al–Cu ... [more ▼]

Laser welding of copper and aluminum is challenging due to the formation of complex intermetallic phases. Only a defined amount of Al and Cu can be melted because of the limited solubility of Al–Cu systems. Finding the optimum melting is critical for a strong joint. Optical emission during the welding process contains the metal vapor of Al metal that is being welded. This is a good indicator for monitoring the welding process. This research paper focuses on the optical emission of Al from the bottom sheet during welding of Cu (top) and Al (bottom) in overlapped configuration for a spiral trajectory. The emitted signal in the range of 395 nm (±3 nm) from the bottom sheet of aluminum is used to identify excessive Cu–Al welding. The tensile shear strength, microstructure, and welding signal in the time domain for optimum and excessive weld conditions are investigated. In this study, a technique using a photodiode is shown to identify the excessive melting of Al during the welding process in real time. [less ▲]

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See detailLASER FUSION WELDING OF CU TO AL WITH SPIRAL TRAJECTORY AND MONITORING OF PROCESS SIGNALS
Mathivanan, Karthik UL

Doctoral thesis (2022)

Welding of Aluminium (Al) and Copper (Cu) in a dissimilar fashion is required for the manufacturing of solar thermal absorbers, battery modules and refrigeration applications. The high strength, thermal ... [more ▼]

Welding of Aluminium (Al) and Copper (Cu) in a dissimilar fashion is required for the manufacturing of solar thermal absorbers, battery modules and refrigeration applications. The high strength, thermal and electrical conductivity of Cu combined with the lightweight property of Al material enable the high performance of the product. A laser is a precise tool, which can increase the productivity and quality of the welding process. Welding Al and Cu is considered difficult because of the formation of complex intermetallic phases which reduce the strength of the joint. Laser brazing from low melting Al sheet to Cu sheet is the traditional technique to reduce the intermetallic phases. This thesis focuses on irradiation of laser beam from copper sheet to aluminium sheet in overlapped configuration. The approach is to form a large amount of intermixing to obtain (Cu) solid solution and Al-rich phase Al+Al2Cu in the interface. By this approach, it was found that a fusion zone with a large number of good phases was formed. The intermetallic compounds Al2Cu,Al3Cu4,Al4Cu9 are intermixed and small. Such a microstructure is beneficial for joint strength. The characterization was done by light optical microscopy and scanning electron microscope. EDS analysis was used to estimate the composition and identify the phases. It was found that a beneficial Cu solid solution phase is present in the joint. To qualify the joint and identify the weld status, melting characteristics during laser welding by observation of the optical emission in Ultraviolet-visible wavelength was studied. The Al melting peak at 396 nm and Cu melting peak at 578 nm was found to correlate to the welding process parameters. The signals correlate to the actual melting of Cu and Al sheets, which was investigated by the cross-sectional images and the weld images on the top of the Cu-Al weld. Therefore, the possibility for real-time analysis to identify different welding conditions is shown. [less ▲]

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See detailBead Geometry Prediction in Laser-Wire Additive Manufacturing Process Using Machine Learning: Case of Study
Mbodj, Natago Guilé UL; Abuabiah, Mohammad UL; Plapper, Peter UL et al

in Applied Sciences (2021), Volume 11(Issue 24),

In Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing (LWAM), the final geometry is produced using the layer-by-layer deposition (beads principle). To achieve good geometrical accuracy in the final product, proper ... [more ▼]

In Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing (LWAM), the final geometry is produced using the layer-by-layer deposition (beads principle). To achieve good geometrical accuracy in the final product, proper implementation of the bead geometry is essential. For this reason, the paper focuses on this process and proposes a layer geometry (width and height) prediction model to improve deposition accuracy. More specifically, a machine learning regression algorithm is applied on several experimental data to predict the bead geometry across layers. Furthermore, a neural network-based approach was used to study the influence of different deposition parameters, namely laser power, wire-feed rate and travel speed on bead geometry. To validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, a test split validation strategy was applied to train and validate the machine learning models. The results show a particular evolutionary trend and confirm that the process parameters have a direct influence on the bead geometry, and so, too, on the final part. Several deposition parameters have been found to obtain an accurate prediction model with low errors and good layer deposition. Finally, this study indicates that the machine learning approach can efficiently be used to predict the bead geometry and could help later in designing a proper controller in the LWAM process. [less ▲]

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See detailComparing software frameworks of Augmented Reality solutions for manufacturing
Kolla, Sri Sudha Vijay Keshav UL; Sanchez, Andre UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Procedia Manufacturing (2021, November 03), 55

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows overlaying of virtual elements on top of the physical environment. This enhances the perception and conveys additional information to the user. With the ... [more ▼]

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows overlaying of virtual elements on top of the physical environment. This enhances the perception and conveys additional information to the user. With the emergence of industry 4.0 concepts in manufacturing landscape, AR found its way to improve existing Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) on the shop-floor. The industrial setting has a wide variety of application opportunities from AR, ranging from training and digital work instructions to quality inspection and remote maintenance. Even though its implementation in the industry is rising in popularity, it is still mainly restricted to large companies due the limited availability of resources in Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME). However, SMEs can benefit from AR solutions in its production processes. Therefore, this research aims to develop and present the results of comparison of two simple and cost-effective AR software frameworks for Hand Held Device (HHD) and a Head Mounted Device (HMD), which can be applied for developing AR applications for manufacturing. Two AR applications are developed using these software frameworks which are presented in the case study section. Android device is chosen as a HHD and HoloLens is the HMD used in the case study. The development structure can be reproduced by a wider range of enterprises with diverse needs and resource availability. [less ▲]

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See detailPROCESS INNOVATION FOR SENSORS IN MOBILE APPLICATIONS BASED ON LASER ASSISTED METAL-POLYMER JOINING
Amne Elahi, Mahdi UL

Doctoral thesis (2021)

The laser joining of metals to polymers is currently an interesting research area thanks to the capability of developing lightweight structures. Considering their miscellaneous applications in the ... [more ▼]

The laser joining of metals to polymers is currently an interesting research area thanks to the capability of developing lightweight structures. Considering their miscellaneous applications in the automotive industry, aluminum and polyamide are chosen as the material combination for this study. There are three main challenges regarding laser joining of metals to polymers in general: significant difference between the melting points of the materials, adhesion at the interface, and the mechanical properties of the assembly. The first challenge is addressed by in-situ heating observation and temperature measurement during the joining process. Therefore, polyamide thermal pyrolysis is effectively avoided by optimizing the laser joining parameters and employing power modulation. The second one is studied by applying different surface treatments on the materials (laser-based and abrasive-based). The surfaces were tested by several characterization techniques before and after each surface treatment. The modification of the surface structure through an appropriate surface treatment leads to the improvement of wetting and adhesion between the melted polyamide and aluminum surface. Therefore, the alteration of a mixed failure (adhesive/cohesive) to a fully cohesive failure is the major step to enhance the mechanical properties of the assemblies. However, in the absence of bubbles, the structural modification of polyamide during the joining process is responsible for the failure. Energy-dispersive X-ray1 mapping and Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry2 shows the physicochemical bonding between aluminum oxide and the polyamide at the interface. To further enhance the mechanical properties of the assemblies, the structure of the polyamide near the interface of metal/polymer is addressed. For this purpose, laser treatment of polyamide, post-heat treatment, and joining with different feed rates were implemented. Finally, the shear strength of approximately 45 MPa on average is achieved for the assembly of laser-polished aluminum laser-joined to the polyamide with 2 and 5 mm/s feed rate. [less ▲]

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See detailBead Width Prediction in Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing Process
Mbodj, Natago Guilé UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Mbodj, Natago Guilé; Plapper, Peter (Eds.) Bead Width Prediction in Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing Process (2021, October 22)

In laser wire Additive manufacturing (LWAM), the final geometry is produced using layer-by-layer deposition principle of beads. To achieve good geometrical accuracy of the final product, proper ... [more ▼]

In laser wire Additive manufacturing (LWAM), the final geometry is produced using layer-by-layer deposition principle of beads. To achieve good geometrical accuracy of the final product, proper implementation of the bead geometry is essential. The process parameters have a direct influence on the bead geometry, thus to the printed part. In this paper, we propose a bead width prediction model to improve deposition accuracy. A regression algorithm is applied to the experimental results to predict the bead width dimension. Bead prediction equation relating the bead width growth for each layer is obtained for a given set of process parameters. The prediction equations show similar evolution trends and confirm the influence of deposition process parameters on the bead width. The proposed method demonstrates a prospective insight on a more proper selection of process or physical parameter intervening in laser wire additive manufacturing process. [less ▲]

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See detailRobotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) 2021
Müller, Rainer; Plapper, Peter UL; Bruls, Olivier et al

Book published by Shaker (2021)

The Robotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) is held on September 22, 2021 at Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, Germany as a hybrid conference. The ... [more ▼]

The Robotix-Academy Conference for Industrial Robotics (RACIR) is held on September 22, 2021 at Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, Germany as a hybrid conference. The topics concerned by RACIR are: robot design, robot kinematics/dynamics/control, system integration, sensor/ actuator networks, distributed and cloud robotics, bio-inspired systems, service robots, robotics in automation, biomedical applications, autonomous vehicles (land, sea and air), robot perception, manipulation with multifinger hands, micro/nano systems, sensor information, robot vision, multimodal interface and human-robot interaction. [less ▲]

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See detailValue Stream Mapping (VSM) to Evaluate and Visualize Interrelated Process-Chains Regarding Circular Economy
Mangers, Jeff UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Advances in Production Management Systems. Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable and Resilient Production Systems (2021, August 31), 633

The concept of circular economy (CE) aims to close and slow resource loops without neglecting the goals of sustainable development. Recently, the concept received encouraging attention among researchers ... [more ▼]

The concept of circular economy (CE) aims to close and slow resource loops without neglecting the goals of sustainable development. Recently, the concept received encouraging attention among researchers and business experts to be a convenient solution to move away from the finite linear economy concept to a more sustainable solution. However, this change of paradigm is only possible if we consider systems in a holistic manner and can localize the preventing hurdles. Value stream mapping (VSM) is a commonly known lean method, used to develop current state visualization of product and information flows within organization, helping to seek weaknesses and improve process flows. The motivation of this paper is a new C-VSM model, which enables its users to evaluate and visualize connected process-chains regarding CE on different levels in a holistic manner. For this purpose, the traditional VSM model was adapted towards the needs and requirements of CE through the application of a new representation method, additional indicators, and an appropriated evaluation system. C-VSM is in line with the current political and industrial objectives to apply CE principles by enabling a holistic reflection and consideration of supply-chains (SCs) on different levels. The model itself is validated through an extensive cross-company case study. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of fluid level in bores for batch size one assembly automation using convolutional neural network
Simeth, Alexej UL; Plaßmann, Jessica; Plapper, Peter UL

in Advances in Production Management Systems. Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable and Resilient Production Systems. (2021, August 31), 632

Increased customization and shortening product life cycles pose a challenge for automation, especially in assembly. In combination with the nature of assembly tasks, which may require high level of ... [more ▼]

Increased customization and shortening product life cycles pose a challenge for automation, especially in assembly. In combination with the nature of assembly tasks, which may require high level of perception, skill, and logical thinking, these tasks are often conducted manually, especially in certain industries (e.g. furniture, power tools) or small and medium-sized enterprises. One of such tasks is the liquid level monitoring in gluing processes. Existing non-manual solutions are based on conventional and less flexible algorithms to detect the current liquid level. In production environments with highly individualized products, a need for more performant models arises. With artificial intelligence (AI) it is possible to deduct decisions from unknown multidimensional correlations in sensor data, which is a key enabler for assembly automation for products with high degree of customization. In this paper, an AI-based model is proposed to automate a gluing process in a final assembly. Images of a gluing process are taken with a camera and a convolutional neural network is used to extract images features. The features are applied to train a support vector machine classifier to identify the liquid level. The developed model is tested and validated with a Monte-Carlo-simulation and used on a demonstrator to automate a gluing process. The developed model classifies images of liquid levels with over 98% accuracy. Similar results are achieved on the demonstrator. [less ▲]

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See detailFailure mechanism analysis based on laser-based surface treatments for aluminum-polyamide laser joining
Amne Elahi, Mahdi UL; Koch, Marcus; Bardon, Julien et al

in Journal of Materials Processing Technology (2021), 298

The development of strong metal to polymer assemblies is currently an important research subject thanks to its prominence to develop lightweight structures. Furthermore, laser welding is known to be a ... [more ▼]

The development of strong metal to polymer assemblies is currently an important research subject thanks to its prominence to develop lightweight structures. Furthermore, laser welding is known to be a fast, reliable, and versatile joining process, and it was demonstrated recently that it can be applied to such metal to polymer systems. To enhance the mechanical properties of the laser-joined aluminum-polyamide (Al-PA) specimens, laser polishing and laser ablation processes have been implemented on the aluminum surface before joining. The polyamide surface was also treated with the laser beam, separately. The surfaces were tested by several characterization techniques before and after each surface treatment. Then aluminum and polyamide samples with different surface treatments have been joined with an identical laser joining process. The mechanical properties of the joints in single lap shear configuration are reported and the failure mechanisms are discussed based on micro-computed x-ray tomography imaging of joined specimens and microscopic analysis before failure. Results show that both surface treatments of aluminum significantly improve the shear load of the joint; however, with different failure mechanisms. Polyamide surface treatment and increasing degree of crystallinity are effective when combined with the laser polishing of the Al surface. This combination is responsible for further enhancement of the shear load of the joint to the limit of base metal strength which is approximately 60 % improvement compared to the untreated samples. Finally, energy dispersive X-ray mapping shows the physicochemical bonding between aluminum oxide and polyamide at the interface. [less ▲]

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See detailAn Innovative Strategy Allowing a Holisitic System Change towards Circular Economy within Supply-Chains
Mangers, Jeff UL; Minoufekr, Meysam UL; Plapper, Peter UL et al

in Energies (2021), 14(14),

: The concept of the circular economy (CE) is receiving encouraging attention among scholars and practitioners, as a convenient solution to move away from the linear economy concept without neglecting the ... [more ▼]

: The concept of the circular economy (CE) is receiving encouraging attention among scholars and practitioners, as a convenient solution to move away from the linear economy concept without neglecting the goals of sustainable development. The main goals of the CE are the closing of resource loops and the keeping of resources in the system for as long as possible at the highest utility level. However, as a result of the lack of internationally accepted definitions of the CE and several unsolved barriers, an excessive and inconsistent number of different CE applications exist. Most fields are mainly focusing on making a linear system circular instead of applying the CE principles in a holistic way. This paper presents a strategy to close the mentioned inconsistency gap, by contrasting currently discussed CE barriers and goals and thereof deriving two areas with a need for action (1. identifying the needed collection, sorting, and recovery infrastructure, and 2. developing circular product design guidelines). The strategy itself consists of connecting these two areas through an improved information exchange between the end-of-life (EOL) and beginning-of-life (BOL) of products. The result is CE design guidelines which are in accordance with the available or needed collection, sorting, and recovery infrastructure. The proposed strategy presents an innovative solution to apply CE principles in a holistic manner, based on EOL-driven product design. [less ▲]

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