in Vol. 19 - November Issue - Year 2018
Enabling the Shot Peening Process for Industry 4.0
Digital touch screen dashboard (a) different shot peening cells in the shop floor and (b) visualisation of the real-time shot-peening process
Digital twin in a virtual environment of a shot-peening machine
Augmented reality for shot-peening machine and process (a) Operator experiences AR via tablet, (b) Real-scale robot motion in shot-peening machine and (c) Visualization of shot media flow (from sieve, pressure pot, media valve, hose and nozzle) and interactive information panel appearing at each sub-system
Manufacturing Intelligence Control Room
In August 2018, Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) launched its Model Factory at the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (Model Factory @ ARTC).
The Model Factory @ ARTC is a public-private partnership platform where companies across industries and across the value chain can learn, co-develop and test-bed advanced manufacturing technologies to stay competitive. This is part of A*STAR’s Model Factory Initiative, which aims to bridge technological gaps so businesses can reinvent themselves through technological co-innovation and adoption.
Let’s look at how manufacturers can benefit from one of the test-beds – digital shot peening.
The first step towards digital transformation is ‘sensorisation’ of the shot-peening machine to enable data-driven condition monitoring. The information from the sensors is collected and can be stored in a company server or cloud platform. Not only can "sensorisation" be adopted for better shot-peening process monitoring and controlling, the additional data obtained can also be analysed computationally to enable smart predictive maintenance of the shot-peening machine. Real time process operation can also be monitored and viewed ‘live’ through a digital dashboard. Engineers can access real-time data during component peening and get insights to enable faster and more accurate decision making.
Virtual reality (through a digital twin) can help shot-peening engineers visualise scenarios and can be beneficial for training engineers in the operation and maintenance of the shot-peening machines. Using a VR head-mounted display, the operator will enter into a virtual environment, which is a representation of a real environment. At the same time, with hand controllers, the operator can interact with the virtual environment and hence be trained in important operation procedures as close proximity to a shot-peening machine might not always be possible in a production floor. This technology will enable equipment OEMs to conduct training from any location in the same virtual environment and will benefit suppliers and customers by reducing their cost spent on training and allow both parties to maximise training time.
When a new operator or engineer needs to understand a new process or trouble-shoot machine issues with a limitation of machine accessibility or constraint to stop a production, Augmented Reality (AR) provides an immersive and dynamic environment for the operator to experience, with AR superimposing digital data and images on the physical world.
In shot peening, AR application overlays a digital replica of the shot-peening machine onto the physical machine. Leveraging on advanced AR technique, the engineers can walk around the machine to familiarise themselves in the shot-peening operations, sub-systems in the machine, media flow and robot motion during peening. This helps the engineers visualise and understand the full cycle of the shot-peening process starting from the sieve, media reservoir, media flow control valve, hose, nozzle, component peening and media recycling. Each sub-system of the machine can be highlighted with an interactive information panel for detailed explanation. In addition, AR can be adopted in machine maintenance. Two-way communication can be achieved between the on-site operator and remote expert with both personnel sharing the same environment to better visualise and understand each other. Moreover, when coupled with sensor information and artificial intelligence, AR can be deployed for real-time machine condition visualisation such as health monitoring of shot-peening machines.
Manufacturing Intelligence Control Room
Once all shot-peening machines and other machines in the shop floor are connected and become IIoT enabled (Industrial Internet of Things), an extensive amount of real-time and non-real-time information can be generated from different manufacturing machines on the shop floor. This will allow data to be collected, digitised and visualised as useful information. In the case of shot peening, real-time information includes process parameters such as pressure, mass flow rate, speed of robot movement and data from sensors while non-real-time information is component geometry, nozzle, media etc. ARTC’s Manufacturing Intelligence Control Room (MICR) explores how IIoT technology can be used to create holistic solutions for visibility, traceability, data exchange and process control of the whole factory. MICR allows plant supervisors and managers to visualise information not only for the shot-peening process but also other process information like machine downtime, maintenance schedules, machine utilisation rate and production status. For the MICR to be truly an Industry 4.0 control room, it is built with an intelligent tool that can constantly monitor the factory status and prompt users with warnings and messages related to quality, cost and time.
The Model Factory @ ARTC demonstrates how conventional yet critical manufacturing processes such as shot peening can embrace Industry 4.0 and enable companies to explore how they can tap into these technologies to help scale up their digital transformation effort.
Data-driven Surface Enhancement
Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC)
Agency for Science, Technology and
3 Cleantech Loop, #01-01, CleanTech Two, Singapore 637143