Impact on the Industrial Sector

white’R project will set the industrial best practice in the optoelectronic product automatic (dis)assembly.

Flexibility towards multiple product variants

High flexibility enabled by reconfigurable and modular equipment designed to manipulate, process and transport a wide variety of products detected and tracked by the vision and smart sensing system.

Flexibility towards multiple technologies

The island will be equipped with a number of different end effectors exploiting various technologies from (dis)assembly to measuring and coating. As a result, the robotic island flexibility of the equipment will be enriched with a degree of process flexibility.

Increased Product quality

The precision and reliability of robotic arms and other operation units compared to human failure probability allows a reduction of reworks both for functional and electric problems together with superficial quality defects.

Product knowledge content

The possibility to automatically track and store the data about the type and code of components as well as related manufacturing operations has a deep impact on product traceability whose importance is essential for customers.

Dynamic process optimization

On-line monitoring system capable of detecting and interpreting anomalies of the product, process and equipment and implementing in real-time a recovery strategy based on a set of advanced optimization algorithms. As a consequence, several in-process improvements and adaptation can be dynamically identified and implemented.

Increased productivity

Compared to manual assembly and testing, the adoption of very fast and reliable robotic systems in addition to automatic handling and transportation systems has a profound impact of the production throughput. Furthermore, the online monitoring supports predictive and efficient maintenance and management actions, thus contributing to a strong reduction of faults, stops and downs as well as the reduction of product final cost.

Development of compact solutions saving space and costs

The possibility to substitute a variable number of stand-alone human oriented islands – often related to specific families of products – with a single compact solution is a fundamental plus for the shop-floor layout and indirectly enables the usage of the extra space for other activities/resources.

Increased modularity

The substitution of the classic monolithic and rigid assembly stations with the reconfigurable production island is based on a modular approach both at the physical as also at the logical level. This important feature brings further advantages, as listed in the following points.

Enhanced maintainability

The modular approach and the high level of integration and communication of each module increase the maintainability of the whole production island, easing the rapid identification and localization of potential problems and malfunctions and reducing the production downtimes.

Reduced commissioning effort and ramp-up time

The new formalism for describing features of products, processes and modules, the easier integration Software- and Hardware-In-the-Loop methodologies will result in big savings regarding the expertise for customizing and integrating the modules, as also in the time for installing and configuring them.

Complete re-usability of the white’R solution over module lifecycles

As the island resource and device are P-n-P modules they are extremely versatile and can be exploited based on their actual natural degradation process, thus optimizing the resources number, usage and costs.

white’R care of the module EoL

The island modules will be conceived and designed by considering their EoL and their environmental impact, thus adopting new materials and design techniques based on the design for disassembly and design for recycling.

white’R sustainable labeling

The white room robotic island will globally result from a development process based on the sustainable principles (environmental, business and economic sustainability) and will undergo the EU procedure to get the green label, thus representing the first robotic island in the optoelectronics with a green label.

Impact on the Scientific Sector

The success of the white’R solution and its positive and promising impact on European industries is driven by a profound scientific backbone. white’R scientific and technological advances will impact on several challenging topics.

Hardware and logic reconfigurability

The island embraces the most complex challenges in the field of modularity, 100% P-n-P module integration and re-use, flexibility and agility towards production dynamic changes by inferring the environment and deploying a reasoning process leading to the best configuration solution on-line.

Design and Management FOR Lifecycle

The island modules are conceived, designed and run by persistently tracking their status over time in order to optimize their usage policies. This would renovate the way industrial equipment is developed as well as the level of intelligence is embedded in the next generation manufacturing resources. The lifecycle concept will be also investigated with regard to the equipment EoL by envisaging new materials and techniques to design P&P modules in order to maximize the recyclability degree.

Distributed and Reconfigurable automation and communication

Development of the first complete automation solution embracing the last key scientific pillars: reconfiguration of the control, seamless integration of unknown modules, scalable communication protocols, dynamically regenerative control policies and functionalities.

Intelligent behavior and optimization strategies

Development of reasoning, negotiation and learning algorithms based on AI – which is expected to represent the great spark of white’R behavior – together with optimization policies to be dynamically undertaken to keep the island performance on target. The high number of P-n-P modules and the multiple layers to be considered in the decision process will severely increase the complexity of the problems to be managed. Our work will represent one of the existing examples of intelligent behavior integrated in a complex production solution – from the single mechatronic component to the integrated island.