Posts Tagged ‘Whirlpool’

Final review meeting_the story

Monday, June 17th, 2013

The Grace project, after three years of research and implementations, has came to its conclusion. A conclusion that does not mean the end of activities, because the solutions implemented in the Whirlpool production line are continuing to work and to collect data, improving the process efficiency and increasing the knowledge about the MAS architecture.

A research project is a fundamental step towards innovation and its ending means to show to the EU Commission (that co-financed the project) the activities carried out and the results obtained.

The Grace project final review meeting was held in Naples on June 13 and 14, 2013, in the Whirlpool factory, and was attended by all the consortium partners and the EU Commission reviewers.
A two-day meeting to demonstrate our agents running in a real industrial environment. Probably the biggest MAS implementation and installation in industry, composed by more than 1500 agents and bringing together the three different areas of production equipment, control systems and optimization of the product.

But what happened during the meeting?

June 12
The day before

A lot of work to prepare the demonstration tour. In the reliability lab the group was defining the last details, checking the MAS architecture and all quality and functional tests. But finally everything was ready, everything was running!

June 13
_Day_1_Demonstration sessions

At the Whirlpool Naples premises everything was ready to welcome the EU Commission reviewers.

After the overview of the project by Nicola Paone (UNIVPM) and Matthias Foehr (SIEMENS), the demonstration tour started: beginning with the assembly line, passing through the quality and functional tests, up to the reliability lab, showing the solutions developed within the Grace project.

June 14
Day_2_Presentation sessions

All the work packages of the project have been presented and finally the interventions (and the congratulations!) of the EU commission officer and the project technical assistant, who underlined that the greatest value of the project has been in carring out the pilot phase directly in the factory and not just in a laboratory.

Demonstration running…

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Three months to the end….the countdown for the conclusion of the Grace project has started!
The project partners have met at the Whirlpool premises in Naples for the first technical working session, whose main objective was to test the Grace Multi Agent System infrastructure in an off-line scenario. This means using real production data accessed through the Grace Global Knowledge Database and collected during the last 2 years of the Whirlpool washing machine production line.
Four full days of hard work allowed not only to fulfill the goal, but also to carry out some preliminary tests for the on-line demonstration of the MAS system itself and to define the final quality indexes.

The pictures below show some of the quality control stations already installed in the production line and that are collecting real production data.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4

The first two images refer to the Drum Geometry Control Station, placed along the Washing Unit Line.
The third image is a close up of the Vibration Control Station, showing the Vibrometer laser beam during the search for the optimal measurement position.
The last image shows the Adaptive Illumination System installed in one of the Vision Inspection Stations.

In the video below, showing an extract of the MAS running in the “off-line” scenario, it is possible to find all the agent families of the Grace Multi Agent System (MAS): when the production of a new item starts, a Product Agent is created and associated to the item itself; the Resource Agents (associated to each process and quality control stations), manage the execution of the operations, improving performances and signaling anomalies to the MAS; the Independent Meta Agent takes trace of all the products being produced and already finished, performs supervision and trend analysis.

Additional working sessions have been already planned in the next two months, in order to set up the final working prototype in June 2013, on time with the planning!
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