The European robotics industry plays a key role in maintaining our continent's industrial base. The robotics industry is strong, but fragmented and dispersed. In the future, cutting-edge technology resulting from top-level research will be the decisive factor for success. Europe not only has a powerful robotics industry, but can also boast superb research. By drawing on these resources, ECHORD aims at producing new knowledge through advancing the state of the art in selected research foci and developing novel technology from which new products can be derived. Within ECHORD, opportunities for knowledge advancement and technology transfer between academia and industry will be created across the whole continent. This will be achieved through the solicitation of focused, small-size RTD projects, so-called experiments, which can be rapidly negotiated, funded and executed. Via these experiments, ECHORD will bring about a large-scale introduction of robotic equipment into research institutions. This is expected to result in both tangible and measurable out-comes in terms of the accelerated development of technologies, as well as the deployment of robotics technology into new scenarios for the direct application of research results. For ECHORD, three such scenarios have been defined: human-robot co-working, hyper flexible cells, and cognitive factories. The foremost purpose of the scenarios is to define an environment that is both scientifically challenging to research institutions and commercially relevant to robot manufacturers.
'The objective of TexWIN is to increase productivity by up to 20% and reduce down-times of machines by one third of workshop factories; due to a reduction of stop times, set-up times and waiting times, increased flexibility and reliability of processes, and due to reduced sampling effort. The breakthrough is to exploit existing knowledge available in various factory internal and factory external sources by (1) combining and evaluating process state information as well as product and material characteristics and (2) deriving best production instructions. Additionally existing production knowledge and experiences from production operators will be preserved and made available by the CBR module. This will be enabled by the hierarchical control structure "TexWIN-Concept" consisting of an adaptive and modular system "TexWIN-System" and re-engineered "TexWIN-Processes" improving quality of products and processes of workshop factory operations. The “TexWIN-System" integrates the two following units: (a) the factory controller for the improvement of the process schedule and event-based coordination of factory (inter-)operations and (b) the adaptive CBR-based production unit controller for identification of best process recipes/machine settings concerning product quality and production process set-up and execution efficiency. The modules will be integrated into a common communication framework, which will enable flexible interfacing and ontology-based information transformation. The "TexWIN-Processes" are adapted factory business processes which allow maximising the efficiency and quality effects and seamless integration into existing factories. TexWIN, which will be tested within in 5 textile and plastic mills, will be best suited for industries dealing basically with make-to-order production, small batches, high-quality product variants, workshop production, complex processes and non-homogeneous and/or natural materials.'
'The textile industry faces important challenges regarding the production of new advanced textile products. It is not possible to define the characteristics and parameters of a given textile structure due to the difficulty of measuring them. This situation makes very difficult to configure the machines involved in the production of such textiles; the typical practices consists in manufacturing samples and through trial and error adjust the processing operations until the desired characteristics are achieved in the final product. With this procedure it’s very expensive to match the designer’s idea with the final product. The production setup takes a long amount of time and efforts and increases the cost of the final product. This is especially critical when a company is trying to develop new technical textiles. The vast majority of the existing systems capable to simulate textile products are limited to the visual representation, without any kind of mechanical or physical evaluation of the properties of the textile structures. Of course, these tools don’t take into account the configuration of the production machinery, so they aren’t capable of help in the setup of production machinery. Unlike these conventional design systems, the core of this proposal is to develop a virtual simulation system of the physical-mechanical properties of the textile structures oriented to the fast setup of the machines involved in the whole textile chain manufacturing process (yarns, woven fabrics, knit fabrics, needle-punch non-woven, hydro-tangled non-woven, and composite structures). This virtual construction system will allow the prediction of the multifunctional textile performance before the actual textile is manufactured allowing the settings of the production machines to be either an input or an output of the computation thus reducing dramatically the effort and cost to produce small batches or develop a new advanced technological textile.'