Research

Hungarian researchers help save money in factories

| Editor: Theresa Knell

Janos Philip
Janos Philip (Source: autopro.hu)

As part of an international consortium, engineers at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics are developing software algorithms for supporting the maintenance and design of machine tools and industrial robots.

Using the computer software based on algorithms, which are for the most part being developed at the faculty, we are able to model and forecast the wear and tear processes of manufacturing equipment, mostly machine tools and robots. One module of the new software application makes it possible to plan and schedule necessary maintenance at factories. In addition, these are timed taking the considerations of traditional production planning into account. Another software module can be used to calculate the remaining useful lifecycle of critical machine tool components, such as ball screws, linear lines, and main spindle bearings. The aim of this industrial research was demonstrated for the website bme.hu by István Németh, associate professor of the Department of Manufacturing Science and Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

The computer program developed by the staff of the Department of Manufacturing Science and Engineering can be used to optimize the maintenance of production equipment. In addition to minimizing costs, researchers are aiming to achieve the highest availability possible for machinery.

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“We try to integrate maintenance scheduling and production scheduling. This can help achieve significant cost savings in plants using the software. Furthermore, this development leads to more predictable work planning and more favorable work schedules on the workers' side”, said István Németh, listing the benefits.

According to preliminary plans, the algorithms created by university researchers will run on a web server, and may even be run on smart devices using other software modules developed by the consortium partners. This will make access to the databases and the maintenance planning algorithms themselves easily available from virtually anywhere. A user friendly interface will be available for machine operators and system engineers to enter any anomalies detected on the machines as well as maintenance performed. They will be able to add comments to their records and share them to provide help to future users. They will be able to register malfunction and maintenance events.

A total of 13 industrial enterprises, as well as universities and research institutes from Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, and Hungary are participating in the three-year research and development project.

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