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Optimized functions and cost-efficiency by simulation

A new simulation environment was created for SAMK for New Dimensions for Production Automation by Simulation Environment project. The simulation environment is now available for local companies who can develop their operations by using the environment. Sinituote Oy is one of the gainers.

27.9.2018 | By: Petra O'Rourke | Photo: Petra O'Rourke

Rami Toka Verkkoon
DSC00337 Verkkoon

When development manager Rami Peltosaari started working for Sinituote Oy in 2006 all the stages of work were carried out manually. The family company has been daring in automating their functions and boosting production.

 

A new simulation environment was created for SAMK for New Dimensions for Production Automation by Simulation Environment project. The simulation environment is now available for local companies who can develop their operations by using the environment. Sinituote Oy is one of the gainers.

– Our future vision is that real programs will be programmed into production lines and installations in the simulation environment and after simulation testing they can immediately be implemented in their real environment, says Principal Lecturer Mirka Leino.

You do not always need to buy a new system. Sinituote Oy bought a truckload of robots from Nokia mobile phone factory and now they manufacture dustpan and brush sets at Kokemäki plant.

Simulation in this context means that real production environment equipment and lines are made for and programmed in the virtual world to function there, just like real devices. The equipment will then be seen in the computer screen 3D dimension similar to as they are in the production plant. In simulation the robot needs similar programming as a real robot to function. With simulation the companies can enhance the productivity of assembly, the cost-effectiveness of production and optimize the use of time and energy at the factory.

Virtual reality headset can also be utilized in simulation, which means that the users can get into the simulation to test with their own hands how the equipment is used or how physics modelled parts behave. This feature can be utilized at the user training stage when operators of complex lines are trained.

SAMK simulation environment is an important learning environment for students. Students of e.g. robotics and logistics have participated in these company cases.

 

Pure savings by verification

Rami Peltosaari, the development manager of Sinituote Oy, is a satisfied customer. SAMK created a pilot simulation for Sinituote, which helped the company to clarify an optimum robot solution for their production line. The solution had to cover everything from assembly points to taping machine and to be palletized. Robot suppliers offered 2 – 4 robot arms as a solution instead of the portal robot Sinituote wished for.

– Simulation enabled us to clarify the possible bottlenecks beforehand and we were confirmed that a portal robot will function and we could make the investment. Earlier there has been no possibility to do this, so risks must have been taken in purchasing, Peltosaari reminds us.

Sinituote portal robot was designed by SAMK simulation specialists Joonas Kortelainen and Tommi Lehtinen.

Peltosaari ordered a palletizing robot based on SAMK simulation for the factory in Kokemäki, and the company saved 100,000 euros. The employees who previously did the palletizing have been redeployed in new, more meaningful tasks.

– Our production output has at least doubled with automated functions, and at the same time the number of employees has increased from 65 to 85 people. Automation changes job profiles but does not replace humans, Peltosaari emphasizes.

- I wish other enterprises in the region courage and innovative thinking in these matters, Rami Peltosaari encourages others.

 

A future way to boost production

About ten enterprises in Satakunta have utilized the SAMK simulation environment so far. According to Mirka Leino there is still a lot to do in the field of production automation, as far as small and medium-sized enterprises in the region are concerned.

– Simulation is still not much utilized in industry. The main reason for this is largely the heaviness of simulation programmes; a 3D environment and the computational capacity required of the computer need efficient equipment. In addition, using the simulation environment requires diverse skills from the user, Leino reminds us.

– We demonstrated the simulation environment for several companies during the project. The message we got from all the companies was that using the program would be beneficial for the functions of the organization.

In future, company simulation cases will be defined based on their complexity and on this basis the cases will be implemented by either Robotics Academy students, students writing their Bachelor´s thesis or researchers and other specialists in the field in SAMK.

 

For more information:

Principal Lecturer
Mirka Leino
+358 44 710 3182

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