It aims at achieving digitisation and automation through smarter, greener industrial plants
Magwater project draws to a close: a “smart factory” for assembling and approving water metres
Magtel built up an industry 4.0 laboratory in Cordoba. The facility was designed to validate new, advanced manufacturing frameworks and techniques, as part of an international R&D&I consortium comprising 19 partners, businesses and technological centres in Spain, Germany, Turkey, France, and South Korea. Magtel intends on bringing about a digitised, automated industry, thus developing smarter, greener industrial plants through interconnected production lines.
This Magtel-led project is set within an open, innovative framework allowing for the approval and validation of industry 4.0 technologies, i.e. advancements based on artificial intelligence, computer vision, augmented reality, or robotics, that step up production. The lab is open for partners, businesses and technological centres “to share challenges and add capacities,” said a spokesperson for Magtel’s R&D&I Division.
Although the best part of this infrastructure came into operation in 2019, several components are being added in 2020 “to complete the first stage,” explained R&D&I Division general manager, David Díaz. He said a new batch of prototypes that would continue to evolve and upgrade the facilities would be built in 2021-2022 as part of the following stage.
One of the initiatives at this scientific facility in Cordoba is Magwater. It deals with the design of a smart factory for assembling and approving water metres. It kicked off in 2017 and has just been completed, although work remains on its prototype and on potential enhancements picked up at execution.
Magwater promotes the design and development of a smart factory system enabling assistance with LEAN operations at any manufacturing plant, thus streamlining processes via industry 4.0 technologies. The underlying principle is that an increase in efficiency will translate into spared resources being redeployed to other processes, thereby generating more added value.
According to the blueprint, the pilot and use case shall be turned into an assembly line and approval process for low-cost, domestic-purpose, cold water meters. This system also allows for the integration of all relevant processes, from client-provider relations automation to QA on manufactured devices.
To ensure interoperability, flexibility, adaptability, and extensibility of the solution, the architectonic framework of choice was an open one based on standards set by international consortium W3C through its workgroup for Web of Things, which is the programming language that allows IoT applications to be developed.
Moreover, in 2019 a test plant for validating energy generation, storage, and management technologies was set up at Magtel headquarters in Seville’s Aerópolis business park. This was a joint effort by 25 businesses and technological centres across Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.
The execution of R&D&I projects is directly linked to Magtel’s pledge to improve process efficiency, and its quest for added value by bringing in innovative elements.