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.
SMITZH: Smart Manufacturing Industrial Applications Zuid-Holland
The province of Zuid-Holland is rich in manufacturing industry. Manufacturing companies that develop and sell all kinds of products with the help of technology. These companies would like to produce faster, cheaper, more durable and higher quality products, but are often unaware of contemporary, digital possibilities such as robotisation and 3D printing. SMITZH brings together supply and demand and aims to make the manufacturing industry more innovative, competitive and future-proof. The Digital Operations & Finance Centre of Expertise at The Hague University of Applied Sciences is one of the knowledge and research partners in the SMITZH consortium.