The Winners of the Fastems Challenge Competition – The Flexinators
Fastems has manufactured FMS systems for over 30 years. To honor this milestone Fastems announced an innovation competition – Fastems Challenge – in October 2013. After a thrilling and educational competition the Flexinators team won the Fastems Challenge!
And now it has come time to claim their reward: The Flexinators team will participate the EMO 2013 exhibition in Hannover, Germany. They will keep their eyes and video cameras open and do video blog posts during the exhibition.
The Flexinators team (Janne Kivinen, Jonne Suuronen and Artturi Salo).
The starting point of the competition was a set of questions:
- How machine of the future will work?
- How products are created from the materials after 30 years?
- Are factories anymore needed?
- How about the user interfaces?
Video of the winning idea
The winners and the winning idea
All three members of our group are studying production engineering in Tampere University of Technology. They used information which they had acquired from school and working life to build a concept which consists of two levels.
The base level of the system is based on highly modular and flexible manufacturing units which combine additional manufacturing with traditional material removing techniques. The target is to use these two techniques together to optimize the overall manufacturing process. The unit creates the manufacturing plan according to 3D model of the manufactured product and after this actualizes it. The 3D model can be transferred into the machine via internet. All manufacturing is executed with small, compact articulated robots which can be combined, added or removed within the unit if requirements change. This feature brings excellent flexibility into the base level of the concept.
The core of the system level is a cloud service which stores and processes information which is downloaded from the base level manufacturing units around the world. So every unit of the system can communicate with each other through the cloud. The system is also self-learning which means that manufacturing units can learn from each other. This is why the winning system can be seen as a one global, flexible manufacturing system. Cloud service is used because optimizing the manufacturing process needs lot of computation capacity but only a little while at the time. One cloud server can serve tens of manufacturing units with rather high utilization rate. This makes computation power usage more economical.
The Flexinators team will try to find signals in the EMO 2013 which could give them hints of the future of the manufacturing.
Will they be able to find any similar thoughts than their winning concept has?
Let’s see what they will find out via the team's video blog from the EMO 2013!