In the smart factory of the future where machines will operate independently of human input, a computerized workflow will be crucial to success. One company looking to get ahead with this factory framework in Japan-based Elysium, who provide systems for communication between CAD software. The company has partnered with the GermanTechnische Universität Darmstad (TU Darmstad) to get a report on their existing digital systems and develop new process that will be instrumental to Industry 4.0.

Over 100 years of technical expertise

TU Darmstad was founded in 1877 as specialist in electrical engineering. It’s Department of Computer Integrated Design (DiK) will be leading the development of Elysium’s systems. Key research areas will be the implication of cyber-physical systems (CPS) (the digital workflow between machines) and Internet of Things technologies.

A concept map of Cyber-Physical Systems. Image by: Sunder, Lee, Asare, Broman and Torngren

A concept map of Cyber-Physical Systems. Image by: Sunder, Lee, Asare, Broman and Torngren

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reiner Anderl will be leading the project. Anderl is an expert in mechanical engineering and has published over 300 papers on the subject. One of 2016’s journals looks specifically at Automation in Customized Production for additive manufacturing, while another looks at how digital systems can assist employees of the Industry 4.0 Smart Factory.

More about Elysium

In a digital world where there is now a countless number of file extensions, incompatibility is a frustration shared universally (even if only familiar on a hardware level when in need of borrowing a phone charger). For 3D files there are now over 20 different file formats, with .stl being the one most commonly used for 3D printing.

None of the formats however provide seamless compatibility with different software applications, meaning they often have to go through many complicated conversions, that can change the specifications of object, before they reach a final manufactured product. This is where Elysium comes in. They ensure file compatibility between programs such as Solidworks and ZBrush, amongst other things.

An example of an Industry 4.0 Smart Factory workflow. Image via: MicrosoftIoT

An example of an Industry 4.0 Smart Factory workflow. Image via: MicrosoftIoT

From either point-of-view the partnership is a smart move. There’s nothing smart about a production line of Kuka arms, 3D printers and scanners that can’t interact with each other to stay on target.

Let us know if this is your innovation of the year by nominating in the 1st Annual 3D Printing Industry Awards.

Featured image shows Kuka robotic arms art work in an automotive factory. Photo via: hepcoautomation

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