Digitalisation of manufacturing processes, holds immense potential of improvement. Harnessing this potential is a challenging task, especially in the raw materials sector and its diverse levels of digitalisation – this is where the cross-KIC initiative of: EIT Manufacturing, EIT RawMaterials, and EIT Digital comes in.
Testbeds mirror real-life manufacturing sites, depicting either specific processes or scaled down process chains, to enable interaction with machinery and equipment and bring digitisation to life, by making processes tangible and accessible.
A testbed is an instalment of hardware components (process machines, logistics equipment, etc.) that depicts a segment of a real-life production line, by using either a scaled-down version of a process chain or life-size equipment. It can be described as a prototype or a pilot plant.
Within the testbed, the effectiveness/efficiency of the depicted manufacturing processes can be improved by applying digitalisation solutions: Artificial Intelligence technologies, virtual and/or augmented reality functionality, blockchain integration, 5G connectivity, integration of additive manufacturing processes…etc.
The testbed implementation activities include selection and integration of hardware components, as well as making data provided by the components, or from external data sources that are accessible/usable. Alternatively, the creation of smart components by adding (low-cost) sensor technology can be considered.
Finally, data processing and analysis using advanced methods to support decision making processes and derive optimisation measures, need to be addressed.
Digitalisation testbeds to tackle systematic challenges
To support e-drive component manufacturers on their journe, three of the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation communities (KIC): EIT RawMaterials, EIT Digital and EIT Manufacturing have joined forces to support development and implementation of digitalised production testbeds.
To ensure the digitalisation process, testbeds contribute to improving secondary raw material production from recycling of End-of-Life (EOL) products or reducing the demand through the reuse of parts in a meaningful and productive way.
Here are the focus points of testbed that are identified by the KICs and the involved partners of the project:
- Improve part design for recycling, re-use & prolonged lifetime
- Increase the recycling rate for critical materials from End-of-life (EOL) products
- Improve of the supply chain for EOL products
Open call for proposals
To find potential digitalisation use-cases and innovative testbed applications, the KICs are announcing an open call for proposals that will be starting in September 1st, 2021.
More information about this cross-KIC project, and how to apply can be found here.