Smart Grading, Handling and Packaging Solutions for Soft and Deformable Products in Agile and Reconfigurable Lines (AgileHand)
The Conveyor System market and, in particular, robot segment for the automated material handling are experiencing double-digit growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR). EU manufacturers in this sector plays an important role, covering 23% of the market but this technological edge is being challenged due to the astonishing growth of China, Japan and Korea. In real world, many objects to be handled, including food, clothes, bottles, or plastic items, are soft or deformable and robots are not yet efficient and effective in handling these objects.
In this context, AGILEHAND aims at developing advanced technologies for grading, handling and packaging autonomously soft and deformable products, as a strategic instrument to improve flexibility, agility and reconfigurability of production and logistic systems of the European manufacturing companies.
AGILEHAND will deploy 3 integrated Suites: 1) SMART SENSING SUITE, self-calibrating sensing solutions to grade the quality (both interior and exterior) of delicate objects and to produce a mesh of integrated and overlapping sensors that will improve production-line traceability, agility and reconfigurability; 2) SELF-ADAPTIVE HANDLING, SORTING AND PACKAGING SUITE, robotic manipulation systems that reacts to product quality and that can Pick-Up and Re-Orientated Different Soft and Deformable Products without causing product damage considering collaborative (human-in-the-middle) approaches; 3) AGILE, FLEXIBLE AND RAPID RECONFIGURABLE SUITE, a set of AI based solutions that will allow for monitoring, adaptive control and synchronisation of production and logistics flows in a factory, even when faced with a variability of products, production mix or fresh market, guaranteeing high performance in customer response time, and an efficient use of resources.
The AGILEHAND Solutions will be demonstrated in 4 industrial pilots that differ in characteristics of the surface, deformability, and consistency of the products to be handle.