Developing disruptive technologies for the manufacturing industry
Limerick Institute of Technology, Cook Medical and VistaMed have collaborated on an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership concerned with developing disruptive technologies for the manufacturing industry. Principal Investigator, Jacqueline Humphries explains that, “the digitisation of industry and availability of emergent disruptive technologies such as advanced data analytics, cloud computing, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, have heralded the arrival of a new industrial revolution. This is known commonly as Industry 4.0.”
Industry 4.0 enables higher degrees of interaction, collaboration and connectivity between humans, machines and the products they produce.
The project team have successfully developed an innovative, collaborative system that assists individuals in the production of complex medical devices. This system is driven by Industry 4.0 technologies, primarily artificial intelligence.
The system provides guidance to users and performs crucial quality checking in real time, offering feedback and assistance whenever an issue may arise. As such, the system offers the potential to dramatically improve quality assurance processes in a manufacturing environment. Similarly, it reduces the training time required for individuals entering the workforce, as well as the time required to train users undertaking the production of newer products.
The project aims to deliver improved outcomes in the production and use of medical device products, an aim which is driven by the use and development of disruptive technologies. Jacqueline says, “We’ve always highlighted the potential of these Industry 4.0 technologies as an enhancement for the operator, rather than a replacement of the operator. Using advancements in computing and artificial intelligence, we can better support individuals as they carry out complex manufacturing processes. The focus of our project has always been to place a greater emphasis on the individual and their experience.”