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Digital technologies for the integrated quality management in zero defect manufacturing

Digital technologies for the integrated quality management in zero defect manufacturing
  • The InterQ European project seeks to develop a digital platform for the generation and integrated management of data with the aim of ensuring the quality of products and processes under the zero-defect manufacturing paradigm.
  • The initiative seeks to construct a new generation of digital twins and to use artificial intelligence sensors and algorithms to increase the efficiency of key sectors such as aeronautics, energy and automotive.
  • Led by the IDEKO research centre, 25 partners are taking part in the project from 11 European countries, with a relevant Basque participation: ITP, Gamesa Energy Transmisión, Danobat, Aeromec, Tekniker and the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU.

To achieve full control of the quality of industrial manufacturing processes and equipment, movingtowards zero defect manufacturing, is a key challenge in strategic economic sectors, such as aeronautics, energy and automotive.

The InterQ European project, led by the Basque research centre IDEKO, is focused on the development of a digital platform for the generation and integrated management of data emanating from the equipment, which allows product and process quality to be ensured with the aim of optimising the zero-defect manufacturing paradigm.

Currently, thanks to digital means, a large volume of data is generated and stored, but, without adequate processing and management technologies, it is not possible to produce accurate, reliable, secure and relevant information to optimize efficiency and quality of industrial processes.

“The InterQ platform seeks a response to this problem. It is a solution focused on data processing for the optimisation of zero-defect manufacturing processes, so that quality can be traced along the entire value chain" said the coordinator of the initiative, Jokin Muñoa.

A platform made up of five modules for zero-defect manufacturing

The platform will be divided into five modules that will enable integrated quality management. InterQ-Process is the first of these and will be focused on monitoring the quality of the manufacturing processes. Next is InterQ-Product which will control product quality. Followed by InterQ-Data for evaluating the quality of the controlled data. The fourth is InterQ-ZeroDefect, whose purpose will be to improve manufacturing quality through the application of artificial intelligence fed with reliable and relevant data. Lastly, InterQ-TrustedFramework will ensure full traceability of the product aimed at different parts of the value chain through the application of distributed ledger technology.

Within the InterQ-Process module, the solution will be capable of measuring, predicting and controlling the quality of the manufacturing process through the development of a new generation of virtual sensors and digital twins. Relevant data will be obtained from the process by means of a new generation of components capable of measuring very close to the cutting point and virtual sensors that allow these magnitudes to be predicted by means of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

The project promotes the application of the latest artificial vision and optical and magnetic sensor techniques for the measurement of topography surface quality and the surface integrity of the workpiece within the InterQ-Product module. The development of digital twins for final product quality prediction will complement these systems.

An opportunity to increase the efficiency of the value chain

In a context of high uncertainty, InterQ will contribute to driving the competitiveness of the European industrial environment through the incorporation of the possibilities that digital technologies and artificial intelligence offer.

The project, which started in November of this year will go on to 2023, has the participation of 25 partners from 11 European countries, among which are top companies such as Renault, Gamesa Energy Transmisión and ITP. Also, Danobat, Aeromec, Tekniker and the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, among others, form part of the consortium.

The initiative has a budget of €11 million, of which 9 will be financed by the EU through the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. 30% of the European finance will go to Basque companies and research centres.

"For the participating machine manufacturers, this project represents a great opportunity both for the digital development of machines and processes through the search for full control of the quality of the final part" concluded Muñoa.

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