Automation has helped manufacturing companies to increase their productivity and lower their costs for decades. The three manufacturing companies Mjøs Metallvarefabrikk, Sandvik Teeness and Tysse Mechanical Verksted, as well as sensor supplier Zivid Labs, all have great opportunities within cost-sensitive markets, where future competitiveness depends on increased automation of small and medium volume production of a large range of products.
It's well documented that low unit costs for manufacturing, combined with high complexity and low volume for each component or product variant, makes automation difficult. There is also broad agreement on that it's possible to achieve reduced unit costs and increased flexibility through automation solutions based on human-robot collaboration in various forms.
KOPROD will address the identified gap between market opportunities and available cost-effective automation solutions. To address this gap, KOPROD will research, develop, integrate and demonstrate new technology solutions for safe and adaptive robotic operations, intuitive and robust robot programming, as well as robust 3D imaging for grip and quality control. This will lead to innovations on both national and international level.
Future competitive production
Mjøs Metallvarefabrikk is the project owner of the project, and SINTEF Digital and SINTEF Manufacturing are involved as research partners. KOPROD's main goal is to demonstrate, before 2019, methods and technology solutions in an industry-relevant environment (TRL - Technology Readiness Level 6) for future competitive production of complex, small and medium volume products for cost-sensitive markets.
Value creation potential
The value creation potential of the project is reflected in, for example, predictions of increased revenue for both the manufacturing companies and the sensor supplier. The realization of the value creation potential will be ensured through the fact that the project is strategically rooted and strongly linked to internal projects of the companies, where competence and technology transfer and implementation of KOPROD results will be taken care of. It's expected that the results of the project will be highly relevant for other Norwegian industry as well.