Reply, which specializes in the design and implementation of solutions based on digital media and new channels of communication, and the Polytechnic University of Turin, one of the most prestigious universities in Italy and worldwide for teaching, research, technology transfer and services in all sectors of architecture and engineering, have signed a joint research agreement to create a Smart Factory software platform capable of
integrating Additive Manufacturing techniques with traditional production lines.
The aim of the research project is to respond innovatively to the additive manufacturing market by
digitising and automating factory production processes, surpassing the current approach wherein the verification of a "job" is subject to the experience of the worker, with a consequential increase in productivity and reductions in costs, time and environmental impact.
The platform will make it possible to effortlessly manage the introduction of additive manufacturing systems within traditional production lines or even multiple, fully additive lines. In addition, algorithms will be incorporated for the
predictive maintenance of these new line components. The platform will also deal with the
Design for Additive Manufacturing based on topological optimisation and techniques for the component's efficient placement within the machine's workspace.
To speed up the development process, Reply will make its own Manufacturing Operations Management solution, Brick Reply, available. Brick Reply is a cloud platform which makes it possible to connect individual machinery present in a factory, creating a digital image with the aim of obtaining the benefits characteristic of technologies in the
Industry 4.0 sphere. Brick Reply enables communication between traditional elements of the production process through physical digital devices (sensors, robots and systems). The platform is growing with the development of vertical applications that draw on
Artificial Intelligence systems.
The Polytechnic University of Turin will implement various software modules on the Brick Reply platform, integrating Brick's traditional operations and
MES (Manufacturing Execution System) functions with the special characteristics of the Additive process. The modules produced will initially concern the supervision and management of production, both on the level of individual additive machinery, as well as that of an entirely additive production line. The availability of hardware and software resources from the Interdepartmental
Centre of Integrated Additive Manufacturing (IAM@PoliTo) will make it possible to test the solutions developed under the project and to ascertain methods for their transfer to the manufacturing sector.