DETC’s Kevin Rampersad presented three “groundbreaking” white papers on behalf of DETC at the recent MESIC 2017 International Conference, in Vigo, Spain — on Digital Readiness Levels (DRL), the concept of the Distributed Factory and Industry 4.0, and an analysis of the used of agent-based simulations in Industry 4.0.
The 7th International Conference of the Manufacturing Engineering Society on 28, 29 and 30 of June was organised by the University of Vigo as a meeting for researchers from Industry, Research Centres and Academia for presenting and discussing advances in Manufacturing Engineering.
Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing.
The visit to Spain’s north-western industrial city also provided opportunities for DETC engineers to establish links with local automotive and naval manufacturers and form a strong relationship with the University of Vigo.
Digital Readiness Level – developing an accessible model
Kevin Rampersad talked about the work down by HSSMI in defining Digital Readiness Levels (DRL), emphasising, as quoted in the local Spanish press, “The DLR or Digital Readiness Level is a system that helps companies evaluate their level of digitization”.
HSSMI recently updated the progress of its work in this subject on Digital Readiness Level blog.
The Distributed Factory & Industry 4.0
The Distributed Factory & Industry 4.0, authored by Farhad Bidgol and Dr Kevin Rampersad, describes scenarios where future technologies could be developed in mega factories or in the bedroom of the next teenage tech guru, and how SMEs can challenge by leveraging concepts of the ‘distributed factory’ and Industry 4.0 technologies.
Distributed Manufacturing for Industry 4.0 Utilising Multi-Agent Based Simulations
Distributed Manufacturing for Industry 4.0 Utilising Multi-Agent Based Simulations, authored by Olatunde Banjo and Dr Kevin Rampersad.
Dr Kevin Rampersad, proposes a novel AI approach, validated by a UK based manufacturing plant, for configuring a factory to satisfy the demand for diverse customer requirements.
The new model considers the distributed factory as a multi-agent system whose objective is to find the optimum route i.e. the most efficient (cost effective) factory or set of factories within the system that can meet Mass Customization (MC) demands. This sort of representation allows application of evolutionary concepts, eliminating waste and promoting a culture of constant innovation.
In finding the optimal factory configuration, each factory is modelled as an intelligent agent using concepts from evolutionary algorithms.
These “survival of the fittest” setups ensures that the fittest configurations of factories within the distributed system over time are available.
Well received in Vigo
Back home Kevin reported that the papers were all well received by the mainly business oriented audience.
“All in all, these white papers were very, very well received as this is some ground-breaking work”.
“We’re looking into the use of AI ‘intelligent agents’ for use in a distributed factory system, as part of Industry 4.0.”
Kevin welcomes comments and feedback on the white papers, please contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org