Industry 4.0 at Inpeco
Leveraging new technologies to improve manufacturing
Industry 4.0 represents the fourth revolution that has occurred in manufacturing and represents a significant transformation regarding the way products are produced thanks to digitalization. It describes the trend towards automation and data exchange in technologies and processes which combine operations and information technology to create value in new and different ways, including the internet of things (IoT), big data analysis and artificial intelligence.
Leveraging these opportunities, Inpeco began updating ITC in Val della Torre site near Turin, Italy, with advanced manufacturing solutions by November 2018. Three projects are starting to transform the way we build automation systems:
Robotics island: in this area, a robot is used to manage the carrier, which is the vector that moves the tube around the automation track. The robot picks up the carriers from a tray and places them into the tool where the software is added. It processes up to 10,000 carriers a day, allowing workers to focus on more value-adding activities.
AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot): The AMR can work safely alongside people, forklifts and other handling equipment thanks to its integrated sensors, camera, and software. Being a fully autonomous robot, it can gain information about the environment, then work for an extended period without human intervention. It transports up to 500 kg and it carries material for the assembly and the packaging areas.
Automated warehouse: at Inpeco, automating the warehouse has the following objectives: 1) to optimize the space and manufacturing timing, 2) to reduce the stock area by 30%, 3) to make the layout more adaptable to production’s needs and 4) to improve ergonomics. To achieve these objectives, Inpeco has installed 7 shuttles that follow grooves and are used to collect stocks from the shelves. Below are some numbers to share:
- the grooves are 2 corridors long and 8 floors tall
- 3000 boxes are stocked
- the smart loader which picks up the material is 730*890*165(mm) big, weights 52 kg and it goes 2m/s
On top of that, the factory is completely paperless and there are solar panels on the roof to generate part of the electricity. By the end of the year, Inpeco will have fully implemented the first three Industry 4.0 projects, making our manufacturing site smarter, more productive and more environmentally friendly. A new era has begun!