Industry 4.0 for automotive

Bullet Advanced monitoring and instrumentation systems, using techniques based on electromagnetic signals, ultrasound, microwave and optical sensors.

Design of ad hoc measurement principles and implementation of measurement instruments:

  • Non-destructive inspection and characterization techniques based on electromagnetic measures with contact sensitive to the microstructure and mechanical properties of components made of steel, which enable quality control of products or production processes. Application examples are: Characterization of surface hardness and depth of the hardened layer in surface treatments of eg spindles, gears, camshafts, crankshafts; analysis of residual stresses, characterization and detection of grinding burns, analysis of the degradation of components in service such as steel cables, rails.

  • Measurement and characterization techniques with ultrasound for measurements of physical parameters and alterations in materials (corrosion, etc.).

  • Non-destructive and remote inspection and characterization techniques (without contact with the material) using RF and microwave waves (frequencies ranging from a few Hz to 110 GHz): Using these techniques, it is possible to analyze properties of non-conductive materials, as its dielectric constant, as well as characteristics and surface defects of conductive materials. It is also possible to detect the humidity level in materials such as earth or concrete.

  • Optical techniques (using cameras and / or lasers) to perform inspections with a high degree of precision (orders of a few microns) in both static and dynamic environments. Inspections related to metrology (dimensional control) and defectology (surface quality) are included. The objective is to improve the productivity of the process ensuring the "zero defect" of the parts and reduce costs. Achieving these levels of precision in static environments is inherently complex, the differentiation is given by achieving it also in dynamic environments, that is, inspecting moving objects (eg on a conveyor belt).

Integration of measurement technologies into comprehensive local and remote monitoring solutions, ranging from hardware development for sensors, (wireless) communications to application software.

Bullet Cognitive robotics: virtual and augmented reality and collaborative robotics

Development of the necessary technologies to create a work unit where human and robot operators work collaboratively. Robots need advanced spatial reasoning and perception capabilities to be able to perform tasks that require greater flexibility and skill than the tasks they can currently perform in the industry (tasks in which all actions are pre-programmed and the robot has little ability to adapt its movements to new situations). Greater flexibility in robots allows them to execute new tasks and integrate into environments that were forbidden to them as in applications in which human and robotic operators simultaneously share tasks, applying each of their best capabilities. Technologies such as virtual reality (digital twin to simulate different robot-human scenarios) and augmented reality (object tracking, 3D reconstruction from SLAM) are enabling technologies for most advanced robotics applications. In addition, augmented reality supposes a natural communication interface between operator and robot.