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Research Services in Manufacturing MALTA. Improvements in manufacturing processes through advanced ICT techniques Key Experts:Dr Ernest Cachia Dr John.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Services in Manufacturing MALTA. Improvements in manufacturing processes through advanced ICT techniques Key Experts:Dr Ernest Cachia Dr John."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Services in Manufacturing MALTA

2 Improvements in manufacturing processes through advanced ICT techniques Key Experts:Dr Ernest Cachia Dr John Abela Dr Ing Saviour Zammit Researchers:Mr Joseph Bonello Mr Armand Sciberras

3 Process 1 – Automated Optimisation of Production Lines

4 Scheduling Problems Scheduling problems are proven to be a class of very difficult problems in computing The project’s aim was to create a bridge between academia and industry –By finding common ground with respect to terminology –By providing a tool to automate understanding of scheduling problems using already available data

5 Scheduling Framework Extendible Framework for Scheduling Modelling Production Lines using an easy-to-use interface Detection of hard sub-problems from the given model Feasible schedule generation with a number of algorithms and heuristics

6 Architecture

7 Modelling and Detection Sometimes industry and academia refer to the same concepts differently –A Unified approach was developed for dealing with scheduling problems using available data –Our approach is based on a graphical representation Modelling allows us to find out ‒ which problems require academic attention ‒ help us find existing research

8 Optimisation Providing a generic optimisation tool for diverse production line is very difficult –The focus is on scheduling orders, not planning –Tools must be adapted for individual production lines Suitable for fast scheduling and “what-if” analysis ‒ Example in case of machine breakdowns or for configuration changes

9 Optimisation Tools Provided –Optimisation of Single Machine problems Very common for SME manufacturers –Optimisation of Job Shop Problems Very common with Multi-Stage Production Lines Handling of Parallel Sequences ‒ When some sub tasks are done in parallel to the main task to speed up process (e.g. preparation of basic components) Handling to setup time between different jobs ‒ Machine Reconfiguration Support for release dates and deadlines

10 Process 2 – Automated QA for Print Output using Neural Networks

11 Automated Optical Inspection Motivation Quality is a key factor in the selling price of manufactured goods Quality inspection is traditionally carried out by human beings either: –At the end of the production line on each and every item removing defective products (slow and expensive) –Or, inspecting samples from a produced batch and assessing a batch quality (defective products are left in batch) Although some automated off-the-shelf tools exist, these are usually too general and fail to identify certain defects

12 Defects Missing or incorrectly placed components Scratches and cracks Print offset, missing/extra transfer of ink Smudges and misalignment defects caused by multiple printing on location

13 An Automated Inspection System Reliable 24x7 Accurate Fast Consistent Cheap

14 Automated Optical Inspection Image capturing Image correction, background removal, alignment, segmentation Further image processing and feature extraction Data Input to Classifier and other QA tests Output from Classifier

15 Setting up the system The system can be configured to perform a number of QA tests depending on the product and type of defects A product representation is built by the system based on one or more of the following A single product and some parameters A number of defect free samples Both defect free and defective samples

16 The two steps of AOI System is split up into two main modules –Image Processing Alignment Background Removal Segmentation –Inspection Feature Selection Colour Inclusion OCR Label location Neural Networks (WISARDs)

17 Practical use of ICT in Manufacturing – A Case Study Testimonial:Mr Olaf Zahra Toly Products Malta

18 Toly Products is cosmetic packaging solution provider for the beauty industry. Toly Products’ has been manufacturing in Malta for the past 40 years. Today the majority of corporate function are also located her. Our factory here (and in other countries) operate on lean manufacturing principles. We manufacture only to order on the date the product is required We produce between 1.5 to 2 million units per week We have over 2,500 different live products

19 Process 1 – Automated Optimisation of Production Lines

20 Research Benefit Scheduling is a critical function: –Impacts manufacturing efficiencies. –Impacts delivery and customer satisfaction –Impacts reputation if deadlines are missed Good scheduling requires –Skilled operators who know the processes well –Involvement of several key departments and functions/ –Good regular feedback from the production floor. Since 2008 this criticality has increased exponentially. In a downturn, organisations try and release cash and in our industry this was done by reducing stocks. As the market recovered the new limits set on stockholding have been maintained. For an upstream manufacturer this means shorter runs and more frequent changeovers.

21 Major Challenges A lean manufacturing set up requires components to be continuously in motion from the beginning to end of the process to avoid bottlenecks and the build up of stocks. It also requires materials to be delivered to the production floor when and as required. A large variety of products for different clients –A bewildering combination of mould tools and moulding machines that need to be configured for different jobs –Finding a good balance between technical and human constraints and meeting client demand –Delivering to the customer On Time and In Full. The aim is to –Minimisation of downtime –Minimisation of work in progress –Maximising resource utilisation

22 Exploring Possibilities Achieving better results while maintaining a flexible manufacturing environment –Explore different possibilities of allocating resources to manufacturing –Gain future insight to help sales and marketing personnel plan orders –Work around scenario changes in cases of schedule disruptions (e.g. urgent jobs)

23 Achieving the target Having several scheduling possibilities allows for more accurate planning. Functions have better visibility of the tasks they are required to perform to service the plan. Minimising job changeovers reduces delays and maximises overall plant efficiency

24 Benefits Some of the benefits offered by the system –Effective planning tool –New approach to scheduling –Cost Effective –Fast Results –Configurable –Low training requirements –Uses information we already have and know about

25 Process 2 – Automated QA for Print Output using Neural Networks

26 Visual Inspection at Toly Production of luxury cosmetic packaging for the beauty industry. Visual quality is of utter importance Even using state of the art machinery there are a multitude of parameters therefore variation is a fact of life. Inspection needs to identify this variation before it exceeds the permissible tolerance so that defectives are avoided and the process can quickly be brought back in line. Visual defects consist of –Bad Printing (location, missing/extra ink) –Incorrect assembly. –Scratches, cracks or smudges

27 Challenges in the inspection process Currently visual inspection is carried our in one of two ways Manual Inspection –Advantages The inspector can identify and classify small variations from product to product and take a call; i.e. is flexible –Drawbacks Tedious Inconsistent Slow Inaccurate Current (at Toly) camera based automated inspection technology –Advantages Accurate Consistent Fast –Drawbacks Limited application. Inflexible; it works with strictly defined parameters therefore typically will reject numerous good parts with the bad parts

28 Using the system The system is configured with few parameters and provided with a number of defect free products. System then trains and builds a multi- layered model for that particular product. The model is saved and used every time that the corresponding product is manufactured avoiding the need of reconfiguration

29 Benefits of the system? The system is able to identify defects on our products from several good and several bad images. Therefore it builds up a memory of good parts which allow it to widen it’s tolerances over traditional systems. It is applicable to a wide range of products and also a wide range of defect possibilities. Easy to set up and easy to update once a new defect has been encountered.

30 Summing it all up The system is preferred over manual inspection –Reliable –Avoids manual contact of the product –More accurate –Faster –Consistent

31 Thank you for listening

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