Smart Factories: INESC TEC support the digital transition of the automotive components industry

INESC TEC is part of the of the project Hi-rEV – Recovery of the Automotive Components Sector, funded within the scope of the PRR (Recovery and Resilience Plan) mobilising agendas for entrepreneurial innovation. PALBIT, S.A. is the leading entity of this initiative, which features over 20 partners to support the digitalisation of the automotive components industry, while contributing to the sector’s adaptation to the changes associated with the energy transition.

On the one hand, the energy transition poses challenges to companies dedicated to the production of components, driving them to adapt their manufacturing structure and introduce new materials, processes, and technologies; on the other hand, it leads to key opportunities for the development of new components – more resilient, long-lasting, and light.

In this sense, the Hi-rEV project aims to support the digitalisation of the automotive components industry. INESC TEC is one of the technology partners, dedicated to the development of solutions towards the implementation of “Smart Factories”. “We’ll explore two main areas: the development of quality control solutions for production and decision support processes, using computer vision and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the design of human-centred robotics and automation solutions”, explained Germano Veiga, coordinator of the Centre for Robotics in Industry and Intelligent Systems (CRIIS).

According to the researcher, the project foresees the development of products, processes and services, namely a platform with integrated AI tools and support of smart sensing devices, towards production optimising and planning; parametrization solutions for automatic and optimised welding, based on machine learning; a mobile manipulator for logistics; a computer vision platform for quality control of aluminium alloy casting; machine vision with AI for the quality control of plastic pieces; augmented reality tools for the assembling of high precision pieces. All these solutions will be validated at INESC TEC Industry and Innovation Laboratory (iiLAB), and later implemented at the facilities of Hi-rEV industrial partners.

Hi-rEV is a mobilising initiative that gathers Industry representatives, non-business Entities of the National Scientific and Technological System, and Associations. The kick-off session of the project took place at Casa da Música (Porto), in January, within the scope of the event “Recovery of the Automotive Components Sector”. The CRIIS researchers Germano Veiga and Luís Rocha, and the TEC4Industry business developer António Almeida attended the event, with the latter as a speaker at the roundtable “Digitalisation of the Automotive Components Industry”.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC

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