The PATTERN research and development project intends to develop enabling technologies for a new modular, reconfigurable, adaptive, self-optimizing automatic machine architecture that can be applied to the main types of packaging machines made by companies in the region, world leaders in their respective sectors ( food, beverage, tobacco, pharma, etc.).
The new architecture is based on programmable mechatronic modules, capable of independently detecting the quality of workmanship and adopting corrective actions to maximize quality and productivity, as well as optimize energy consumption and production costs.
- Advanced simulation tools and methods will allow to design and optimize cyber-physical modules of automatic machines in virtual and / or X-in-the-loop environments, evaluating their performance and including laws of motion, interaction with the product and control logics. Particular attention is intended for the development of highly dynamic servomechanisms and complex state machines. Specific optimizers will reduce energy consumption and at the same time increase the accuracy of the motion; model based approaches will implement these results also in control logic and embedded algorithms.
- Software development will benefit from innovative hardware independent tools and libraries with which to exploit the potential of different motion control platforms quickly and with a high rate of reuse. Virtual prototypes will be used to predict and optimize performance and to implement advanced control logics, suitable for making the modules intelligent and self-optimizing.
- The same simulation and software development tools will be integrated with an innovative data identification and signal analysis platform to be used as an engine for advanced predictive maintenance practices, significantly increasing OEE and machine reliability.
- Workers’ working conditions will be improved, assessing their ergonomics (also for disabled operators), increasing their efficiency with lean techniques and taking care of their training with innovative approaches, similar to the flight simulator aeronautical practices.