Adoption of Cyber-Physical Production Systems in the SUPSI Mini-Factory

Daniele, Fabio and Lorenzo, Agbomemewa and Confalonieri, Matteo and Andrea, Ferrario and Michele, Foletti and Paolo, Pedrazzoli (2021) Adoption of Cyber-Physical Production Systems in the SUPSI Mini-Factory. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Nowadays, manufacturing systems face an increasing array of challenges including the capability to manufacture customized products, demonstrate adaptive behaviour and automatic rescheduling of orders, easy reconfigurability and remote services for diagnosis. Traditional automation solutions cannot effectively cope with these challenges. The combining developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and production engineering have brought forward the concept of Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS). CPPS, as a new form of production control and flexible manufacturing, while promising to address the aforementioned challenges, have, at the same time, increased the complexity of production systems, especially concerning information processing and software engineering topics: new jobs emerge, existing are changing, and new skills are needed. In this context, Learning Factories have demonstrated to be able to manage this complexity enabling a learning environment for effective transfer of knowledge towards both professional and aspiring engineers. This paper reports on the latest advancement in the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) Mini-Factory, a learning factory implemented at the SUPSI, that offers hands-on experience on decentralized CPPS in compliance with the IEC 61499 standard. Learners experience interconnected sensors, control systems, warehouses, machines, and robots, networked together with the manufacturing management system, linking all the industrial assets with the information systems and the business processes. This paper will depict the high-level architecture and technologies exploited by the Mini-Factory. It will address relevant use cases of the educational potential of new immersive approaches about the themes of distributed, Cyber-Physical System (CPS)-based, automation.

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