VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tampere University of Technology (TUT), and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) have established a joint digital factory demo in the Smart Machines and Manufacturing Competence Centre (SMACC) workspace located in the Tampere Campus Arena. Each organization has remotely connected its own robot systems to the SMACC workspace from its own facility. The workspace houses the system control room, where the work performed by robots and product manufacturing is controlled and monitored phase by phase.
The demonstration project is an example of how, in the future, product manufacturing can be controlled and monitored remotely from one place.
A Digital Factory of the Future
The connecting technologies are undergoing rapid development. A digital factory can be set up quickly if the conditions for doing business are good, and it can be turned into a profitable and useful unit.
“The digital factory of the future is a decentralized network of companies, with different subnetworks, which can also operate globally,” says Risto Kuivanen, business development manager at VTT. “The manufacturing is controlled remotely from one place via the Internet. The factory manufactures products in a place that is optimal for the purpose at that very moment. The criteria for the place of manufacture can be, for example, efficiency, quality, or proximity to the customer.”
VTT, TUT, and TAMK combined their research infrastructures to ensure one-stop access for the Finnish manufacturing industry. Focus areas include automation and robotics, 3D printing, and digital product development. SMACC, which was founded by VTT and TUT in 2015, serves as a platform for combining infrastructures.