Manifattura AGILE per la competitività e l’innovazione di prodotto
Project AGILE was set up following a far-reaching and in-depth analysis of the nature of businesses and research being conducted within the Veneto region. It led to the identification of a post-COVID strategy to guide the development of the Veneto socio-economic system based on a shift towards more “agile “production systems by applying more advanced solutions for product innovation.
The project focusses on manufacturing, and thus falls perfectly within the specialist field of “Smart Manufacturing”.
The partnership aims to develop interdisciplinary methodologies and approaches, based on the ability to rapidly and flexibly upgrade production processes and lines, aimed at increasing competitiveness and product innovation. It can therefore be defined as an “industry reaction” to the COVID-19 emergency, built on flexibility, adaptation and resilience. However, its results will have far-reaching repercussions that will endure long after the pandemic has passed, and which will impact on the broader context of corporate competitiveness in keeping with the dictates of the new Industry 4.0 paradigm.
Project duration: 24 months
Period: from September 2020 to September 2022
Coordinator: THE SPRING CONSORTIUM
Contact person in EnginSoft: Nicola Gramegna
Number of partners: 12
Sector: Smart Manufacturing
The project aims to foster Agile Manufacturing to enhance product competitiveness and innovation by addressing four development areas: the virtualisation of the design phase, the development and industrialisation of advanced and rapid production technologies, the rapid reconfiguration and optimisation of production lines and implementation of intelligent quality management.
Project AGILE focusses on specific types of production lines:
- aluminium alloy foundry (1 manufacturer of moulds, with its own internal foundry), magnesium alloy foundry (1 mould manufacturer integrated within a foundry) and one cast iron foundry;
- aluminium alloy profile manufacturer (1 company that manufactures sheet metal moulding systems);
- construction of welded components in different materials (1 company producing welding systems and 1 company producing welded structures).
The enabling technologies used by the project are:
- Advanced production systems (virtualisation of the design phase, advanced and rapid production technologies, rapid conversion and optimisation of production lines, design and production, intelligent quality management);
- Advanced Materials (production of light alloys and high-performance cast irons, use of components made through additive manufacturing, use of innovative powders to optimise tool life);
- Nanotechnologies (production of nanostructured powders for tools, nano-scale characterisation of material surfaces).
The highly innovative nature of this project can be outlined by detailing its distinctive AGILE elements.
1) Virtualisation of the design phase: implementation of innovative integrated solutions and systems for the management and optimisation of the design chain (integrated process-product development) in partner manufacturing companies involved in the project. The integration and customisation of systems to meet specific production cycle requirements will be principal innovation element;
2) The development and implementation of advanced and rapid production technologies: the availability of components/products manufactured using systems with a high degree of innovation (additive manufacturing, hybrid processing systems, etc.) will lead to a greater appreciation of new technologies leading to them being gradually integrated into production cycles;
3) Rapid conversion and optimisation of production lines: by conducting pilot initiatives, tailored specifically to the 7 production lines identified, the project will demonstrate the feasibility of the range of solutions proposed to provide for the flexible management of product and batch variations;
4) Intelligent quality management: production monitoring and control systems will be designed and implemented. Through predictive quality analytics, these will serve to enhance the management of process conditions, resulting in increased product traceability, ultimately leading to their digital certification. These are innovative approaches developed thus far in a “localised” and non-systematic way: their integrated introduction in various production contexts is the key element of this innovative initiative.
The Role of EnginSoft
The role of EnginSoft, the only engineering company in the partnership, is fundamental to tackling all aspects of the digitalisation of the production lines in question. In particular, following the study of advanced solutions for agile manufacturing, the multi-disciplinary competences and solutions offered by EnginSoft support the virtualisation phases of the design process, rapid reconfiguration and optimisation of production lines and intelligent quality management.
The project Partners are members of the SINFONET and M3NET networks.
ZANARDI FONDERIE SpA, ECOR INTERNATIONAL SpA, SAEN Srl, AM TEKNOSTAMPI SpA, DELKA Srl, PROMOTOEC LSMC Srl, MBN SpA, UNILAB Srl, ENGINSOFT SpA, GOM Italia Srl, CNR ICMATE, UNIVERSITY OF PADUA’s Departments of Management and Engineering and Information Engineering.