The first of these centers, designed to boost a national commitment to Industry 4.0 technical developments, was inaugurated in Alfragide, 10km outside central Lisbon.
Manuel Caldeira Cabral, the Portuguese Minister for Economic Affairs, Pedro Pires de Miranda, CEO of Siemens Portugal, and Ana Lehman, the Secretary of state for Industry were present for the grand opening.
Portugal’s smart factories
i-Experience Centers 4.0 are open to companies, start-ups, universities and individuals seeking to experiment with the latest in manufacturing technology. Each center will be equipped with tools to facilitate the development of Industry 4.0 solutions, and envision smart factory concepts.
Automation and data exchange are key practices of these facilities. These features are enabled by technologies including Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and, of course, additive manufacturing.
Carlos Melo, Product Manager at CadFlow, explains, “The i-Experience Centers will work as testing labs to design, test and validate solutions within the Industry 4.0 paradigm, open to the academic community and business incubators.”
3D printing plus Big Data
BEEVERYCREATIVE will be supplying the centers with 3D printers, to help visitors through the product prototyping process. The company will also be providing educational support to the centers, to train people in the use of 3D printing.
CadFlow will be providing the centers with technical support, and Siemens will be contributing the MindSphere operating system to connect “products, plants, systems, and machines,” and produce advance analytics from the Big Data generated.
A national initiative
i-Experience Centers 4.0 are incentivised by the Portugese government, following a statement on Industry 4.0 issued by António Costa, the country’s Prime Minister in January 2017.
Recently, the Australian government launched a similar initiative to help boost the nation’s manufacturing power.
Commenting on the i-Experience Centers 4.0 as a whole António Mira, Industry Director at Siemens Portugal, says, “Our goal is to help in the training of everyone who wants to join us in the industry transformation and give them the tools necessary to help the country take this technological leap.”
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