Digitisation and automation allow production systems to become ‘smart’. This enables the regional production of complex products at an acceptable cost level. With the help of sensors, the usage and ‘health’ of a product can be monitored from ‘cradle-to-grave’. This makes it possible to predict the required maintenance of a product, and also gives manufacturers the opportunity to extend the lifetime of a product and make it more sustainable.
The research group Smart Sustainable Manufacturing focuses on the development of automated, flexible and shared production facilities for prototypes and small series, that can be used to experiment, exchange experiences and share knowledge. Secondly, the group aims to contribute to the development of value chains for sustainable ‘Product-Services’ (a type of service that offers product usage instead of product ownership, like for instance a ‘Swap bike’).
Core values of the research group are:
- Sustainability; by smart (re-)use of materials and resources (also human resources!) in a production chain.
- Collaboration; collaboration within a supply chain, between people and robots in a production process, working together in a ‘Factory-as-a-Service’.
- Exchangeability; exchange of data between robots, exchange of information between the engineering and manufacturing process, between different stakeholders that manage a product, between components in order to extend the life of a product etc.
The research group started on the 1st of January 2021. In the coming months, the research group will focus on the preparation and start up of tangible research projects
- Development of cooperative and flexible manufacturing facilities for prototypes and small series, that allow for experimentation and shared learning experiences.
- Circular and sustainable manufacturing.
- Development and implementation of ‘Smart Manufacturing-elements’ that combine best-practices into ‘building bricks’ for production automation that are easy to implement.