Intelligent manufacturing optimizes production by leveraging data analysis, machine learning and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) to implement robotics automation and process improvement. Southwest Research Institute is home to several laboratories that develop intelligent manufacturing solutions, machines and tools that can perform challenging industrial tasks based on input from their environment.
Intelligent Automation for Smart Manufacturing
Intelligent systems are those that need less human decision making and intervention while performing work that requires what would typically be considered “knowledge or skills.” SwRI adds intelligent automation to existing manufacturing systems, developing stand-alone tools that add a level of intelligence to a process and/or developing intelligent systems from the ground up. Intelligence can be software or sensors that provide feedback so decisions can be made, or it can be specially designed hardware that allows a specific task to be performed. Motivations for these machines can be increased process quality, boosted process output, improved worker safety, and enhanced worker experience.
Read our blog to learn more about intelligent automation for smart manufacturing:
- Extending the Industrial Robot Lifecycle
- How Small Companies Implement Digital Manufacturing
- Intelligent Machines for an Endless Number of Applications
Capabilities & Facilities
SwRI’s manufacturing and robotics laboratories contain numerous industrial robot arms of various brands, payloads, and other specifications that can be used to meet specific customer requirements. These laboratories feature various cameras, force sensors, and other instruments that can be integrated into an automated system that provides process feedback. The team has access to workshops where industrial processes can be simulated and tooling designs can be prototyped or fabricated, providing the ability to quickly find solutions to automating previously non-automated tasks. The combination of these laboratories and workshops provides an excellent environment for developing small scale, partial system, prototypes up to full scale production systems.
Our team comprises mechanical, electrical, and software engineers, allowing for all aspects of an automated system to be developed. Additionally, SwRI has many disciplines including cyber security, chemistry, material science, coatings technologies, environmental testing, and mechanical analysis. This multidisciplinary knowledge base allows for the development of automated processes in just about any industry.
The team has experience in projects supporting industries including:
- Oil & Gas
- Chemical production
While no project is “typical,” intelligent manufacturing projects usually take a general approach that involves coordinated efforts between hardware and software development. This allows for custom developed or specially utilized hardware to coordinate seamlessly with the software that is controlling how it interacts with various aspects of the work environment.