Mini-FACTORY 4.0

state-of-the-art IIOT production facility

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Why a Mini-Factory

SCOPE

The Mini-Factory is state-of-the-art IIOT production facility, used to manufacture diverse products. The SUPSI Mini-Factory is meant for applied research and teaching. It aims to study and apply modern and advanced production technologies and methods in the context of Industry 4.0. The aim of the Mini-Factory is to create a platform where researchers, students and industries meet, develop and empower the transfer of knowledge. They have the chance to experience both classical automation topics (PLC, MES and SCADA programming, precision axes control and pneumatics), as well as advanced technologies, typical of the most advanced smart-factories (IoT, vision systems, simulation and digital twin, advanced measuring methods and smart production management systems).

OBJECTIVES

  • To provide hands-on education. The Mini Factory is used in many courses for practical training of students by carrying out exercises and simulations in the laboratory, thus gain valuable practical experience with state-of-the-art equipment in the field of industry 4.0 and automation.
  • To test and implement new automation techs. The Mini Factory serves as show cases of new technologies and methods, that can be tested and evaluated by researchers and companies alike.
  • To develop and validate RTD approaches. The Mini-Factory serves as concrete test-bed for innovative approaches for I4.0 implementation. The factory functions as a pilot plant for research and applied industrial projects, on the top of which applications and technologies are developed, tested and integrated. Industrial requirements are taken up directly and transferred into the application-oriented research.

SPS-lab

The mini-Factory 4.0 is operated by the SPSLab

AUTOMATION and COLLABORATIVE ROBOTS

Cell design, system integration, programming; Applications: assembly, polishing, welding and finishing machines.

HUMAN-CENTRED PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Human-robot interaction, safety, worker well-being.

SUSTAINABILITY IMPACT

Real-time data-driven sustainability assessment; Comparison of sustainability performances of alternative production scenarios; Digital twin exploitation for sustainability-related decision making; Product digital passport for lifecycle-long green data collection

Products & Architecture

mini-Factory technologies

The Mini-factory implements a flexible production and assembly process capable to dynamically respond to customized orders, while still operating to stock, and demonstrates a significant amount of adaptability and resilience. Here the hardware and software components empowering the process

Vertical warehouse

Vertical warehouse

Bosch-Rexroth profiles feature a grid of 81 slots, each one capable to host a pallet. A central slot acts as gate for loading/unloading and is linked with the rest of the transportation backbone.

Three-axis Cartesian robot

Three-axis Cartesian robot

Bosch-Rexroth IndraDrive Cs motion control and MSK040C/MSK040C Rexroth 3-Phase Synchronous Permanent Magnet Servo Motor. it interfaces and retrieves the pallets, where the components are stored on.

RFID system

RFID system

X-NUCLEO-NFC05A mounted on the cartesian robot and it’s meant to check the warehouse consistency against the nominal status. NFC tags are placed on each of the pallets in use in the Mini Factory.

Laser triangulation sensor

Laser triangulation sensor

Micro-epsilon scanCONTROL 2950 coupled with an optical linear encoder (Rexroth, IMS2A-KWD-020-SNS) in order to verify the geometrical features of the produced workpieces.

Transportation system

Transportation system

Bosch-Rexroth NYCe 4000 motion control, TECNOTION TM6Z linear motor. Two independent carriages based on a linear motor system. The first can enter the warehouse, while the second transports the SCARA robot along the line.

Control station with PLCs

Control station with PLCs

Omron NJ501-1400 and HMI Omron NA5. Those are meant to provide logic control and supervise all the different factory components.

4-axes SCARA robot

4-axes SCARA robot

Omron-Yamaha R6 XGL 400150. It is used for all the pick & place operations. The robot can automatically mount different tools depending on the needs. A smart camera (Wenglor Weqube B50S103) is mounted on the robot end effector. The camera empowers smart interaction with the surrounding environment.

Automatic tool change

Automatic tool change

A set of different tool-heads for the SCARA robot is coupled with an automatic tool change interface (SCHUNK SWS), which allow the robot to interface with pallets, work-pieces and workstations.

Detachment station

Detachment station

A dedicated station allows the automatic detachment of 3D printed pieces from the printing bed.

Production modules

Production modules

1 to 5 production modules can be aligned on one side of the 4 meters long transport system. The current configuration consists of two 3D printers (that manufacture the tans and the plastic boxes) and one engraver (that personalizes the covers).

Modules camera

Modules camera

An array of cameras (Wenglor Weqube B50M110) identifies the production modules functionality and relative position, in order to inform the system about the production options available and automatically compensate for detected deviations from the nominal relative positions.

Assembly station

Assembly station

Facing the production modules, on the other side of the linear motor system, an assembly table can host up to 3 pallets at the same time to allow assembly operations. The tool-head warehouse is positioned here as well.

Human-robot collaborative station

Human-robot collaborative station

This working station, equipped with a UR Cobot (Universal Robots UR5e), represents an alternative way to assembly the tangram game-set.

Digital Twin

Digital Twin

The physical Mini-Factory is associated to an evolving digital profile, based on constant synchronization through IoT devices: the Mini-Factory digital twin. The Mini-Factory digital twin is based on massive, cumulative, real-time, real-world data (through OPC-UA protocol).

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Active projects

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Projects completed

Our Team

Prof. Paolo Pedrazzoli

Prof. Paolo Pedrazzoli

Head of the SPS Lab at SUPSI; Head of the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering.

PhD Matteo Confalonieri

PhD Matteo Confalonieri

Lecturer of Automation/Industrial Plants and PI of projects in the field of intelligent manufacturing

MSc. Marco Silvestri

MSc. Marco Silvestri

Docent of Automation/Mechatronics and PI of projects in the field of advanced motion control and intelligent manufacturing. Expert for Innosuisse.

PhD Andrea Ferrario

PhD Andrea Ferrario

Researcher and Lecturer in the field of Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing.

PhD Fabio Corradini

PhD Fabio Corradini

Researcher in the fields of Industry 4.0 and digital twins. Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, PhD in industrial engineering.

MSc. Michele Foletti

MSc. Michele Foletti

Researcher and PhD candidate in Industrial Automation and Event Driven Systems. Lecturer of Simulation and Intelligent Manufacturing.

MSc. Lorenzo Agbomemewa

MSc. Lorenzo Agbomemewa

Expert in Digital Technologies and Smart Automation, Master’s degree in Business Innovation, 6 years' experience as automation engineer

MSc. Fabio Daniele

MSc. Fabio Daniele

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Contact Us

Contact Details

The Laboratory of Sustainable Production Systems (SPS-Lab) is dedicated to research and education activities aimed at the development and use of methods and tools for the design, analysis and management of products, processes and production systems.

ISTePS - Polo universitario Lugano - Campus Est, Via la Santa 1
Phone: +41 (0)58 666 66 79
Email: isteps@supsi.ch