On October 31, 2022, the development phase of the GreenBath project (IDI-20210358), whose main objective is the modeling, simulation and optimization of the surface treatment processes of an aeronautical elements manufacturing plant, was successfully completed.
To achieve this, the M&M Group team has designed and developed a set of software systems. “On the one hand, a process logistics simulator has been developed, which accepts a production plan as input data and returns the most relevant input and output dates and various KPIs associated with the line. On the other hand, a system has been designed and developed to optimize the placement of parts on racks for treatments, based on genetic algorithms,” explained Dr. Fernando Mas, head of the company’s Technology and R&D area.
The current trend in the aerospace sector is to perform part preparation and hanging operations manually and without foresight, which leads to a lack of control and use of all the data generated during the entire process.
This being the case, the GreenBath project succeeds in supporting these tasks by using optimization algorithms, improving process control through experimentation with simulation models.
“This leads, on the one hand, to better utilization of available resources, with a reduction in costs and increased productivity of the line. But it has also led to a reduction in energy consumption by improving the forecasts for the use of the various pieces of equipment,” said Dr. Mas.
In this sense, a demonstrator has been developed at M&M Group’s facilities, which has allowed validation of the various systems, and not only has it been possible to determine production times, but also to optimize them, reducing manufacturing times and costs.
Framed in Industry 4.0
The results of the GreenBath project are framed within the paradigms of Industry 4.0. On the one hand, simulation systems have been developed, leading to better control of manufacturing lines and the possibility of obtaining information about it in advance.
“In this case, the developed system makes it possible to know logistical aspects such as the time required to manufacture a batch of parts or the degree of utilization of industrial resources. The system has been developed with a view to continuous improvement. Because of this, it has the capacity to introduce new outputs or reconfigure the design of the model in a simple way,” said Dr. Fernando Mas.
On the other hand, a system has been designed to optimize the placement of parts based on heuristics, in this case, genetic algorithms. This system makes it possible to mathematically optimize the size of the batch introduced in each chemical bath.
“In this way, better control is obtained and the best use of resources is guaranteed. In addition, it offers a solution to an industrial problem that does not yet have commercial options, such as optimizing the placement of parts in treatment racks,” added M&M Group’s CTO.
Thus, through this virtualization/simulation, the processes carried out by all machines, tools and people can be reproduced in order to obtain a perfect visualization of them.
Already in the transfer and implementation phase
Once the project is finished and with the optimal results obtained, the M&M Group team is currently developing the transfer and implementation of the technology within the company.
The development of GreenBath has been subcontracted to the Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) and funded by the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) in the call for R & D Projects Transfer CERVERA.