Department of Production and Quality Engineering coordinates the EU FP7 IFaCOM project that startet on 1 November 2011. The project objective is to improve industry's abaility to produce high quality products more efficiently and with less faults. The project was established as an initiative from NTNU, and has 15 partners from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Norway. The project budget is 11 mill. Euros, and the project duration is 3,5 years.
The vision of IFaCOM is to achieve near zero defect level of manufacturing for all kinds of manufacturing, with emphasis on production of high value parts, on large variety custom design manufacturing and on high performance products. This shall be achieved through:
- Improved performance process control to reduce defect output and reduce the costs of defect avoidance
- Enhanced quality control to obtain more predictable product quality
- Enhanced manufacturing process capability independent of manufactured parts
The objectives are to reach a level of excellence for a systematic body of knowledge on near zero defect manufacturing output through improved process control, and long range stability by use of intelligent manufacturing quality control systems.
In IFaCOM this will be obtained through development of new manufacturing strategies and methods which will be demonstrated in industrial cases. These methods shall work on three levels:
- closed loop control of vital parameters based on in-process real time measurements
- medium time process tuning and optimization based on analysis of complex data sets
- optimized machine system for long range performance improvement
At all levels intelligent sensing and signal analysis, supporting an intelligent fault diagnosis and prognosis system will be developed. This includes the development of a set of methods for real time self correcting mechanisms that give immediate effect, methods for medium and long range optimization that increase overall performance and stability.
The application of the IFaCOM methods will give considerable impact on manufacturing processes, allowing manufacturing companies to obtain new levels of excellence. This will have impact on the next–generation products, manufacturing, and services systems. The move will be towards zero-defect quality, using methods that encompass more than the traditional "six-sigma" methods based on standard defined data analysis.
Manufacturing processes will be brought into higher stability both on short and long term by implementing processes controls strategies that avoids defects in real time, optimizes process parameters continuously based on analysis of multiple sensor data input from the process and optimize the global process chain operational and maintenance strategy from today's "Fail-to-Fail/Fly-to-Fix)" to "Predict-to-Prevent)" performance. This consists of:
- Development of system approaches for data monitoring of multidimensional fluctuation in product and process parameters for use in closed loop real time control and medium to long range optimization
- Development of process and manufacturing measurement methods and equipment, integrated in the machinery for real time monitoring and control of vital parameters
- Application of advanced computational intelligence methods for analysis and decision making based on large complex data sets enabling more predictable and higher level of product quality
- Creation of cognitive and self-adaptive devices that optimizes process parameters and machine system settings to establish high stability manufacturing systems with minimum manufacturing costs
The fulfillment of these sub topics of the objective will lead to better performance in industries that apply the new technologies developed and an opportunity for equipment manufacturers to offer new high performance products, machine tools and auxiliary equipment on the market.
Process measurements will be extended from a few areas where they have been applied to a broad range of operations where there is a need to control vital parameters of a product to obtain the required quality without producing any faulty parts that have to be sorted out in the production process.
Today it is known that such challenges exist in the manufacturing of automotive parts, aerospace components, medical instruments, electronic products and other high performance products