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Research Areas

Research Areas

We perform state-of-the-art research in technology entrepreneurship and innovation leading to smart products and factory of the future

The TEI section’s research considers various phases of the innovation process, and it extends the traditional view by considering the boundary-crossing and interdisciplinary nature of innovation from Engineering to Business. Starting from ideation to developing a first prototype, setting up manufacturing enabling and applying technologies of the Industry 4.0, up to commercialization on the market. The focus is general engineering and how to generate innovate products and production of the future.  The focus is to develop and demonstrate technical engineering solutions in combination with comprehensive business models.

This is done by bringing together engineers and innovative business researchers who in collaboration can transform an idea into a tangible innovation, that may become a new smart product or service. A big focus for the researchers is the Smart Factory where researchers the digitalized and automated factory of the future is designed and developed. The researchers work with virtual simulation tools where virtual prototypes and digital twins of the production can be tested in a virtual VR environment before implementation.

These joint forces represent the backbone of our education programmes on Engineering, Innovation and Business.

In collaboration with internal and external partners, the SDU TEI group is a reliable and qualified partner for the local industry in joint projects.

Related Research at the Faculty of Engineering

If you are interested in related research at the Faculty of Engineering, read more here

Smart Factory - Automation and Digitalization - Industry 4.0

We take the latest knowledge regarding automation and digitalization into account. Together with companies, we generate innovative solutions that enable companies to become more productive and adaptable. Our mission is Digitalized Production, where we will apply automation and digitalization to the challenges of local and regional companies and to co-develop innovative and disruptive solutions.

Therefore, our Smart Factory research takes Industry 4.0 principles like automation and digitalization into account. This includes the Lean Automation approach, which implies the following: First, “lean” the company before automating appropriate elements; second, provide simple, easy-to-use and business-oriented solutions for small and medium sized companies; and third, in line with current research, lean automation is also referred to as “autonomation”, which means “automation with a human touch”. We believe a big asset in smart manufacturing is the human in collaboration with technology.

 

Research areas

  • Computer simulation

    This research focuses on Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) from product prototyping to the design of production system. Through computer simulation (stochastic discrete event plus continuous models), we can model production systems and perform experiments, which in turn build the basis for highly detailed analyses. Corresponding to rapid technological developments, we are constantly fostering our competences in computer simulation to be able to perform top-notch research.

  • Digital Twins

    Our research experience in simulation and virtual reality is edging us towards digital twins. This finds application on the product level, where a virtual model allows analyses of the actual product. Even more so, a digital twin of entire production systems opens avenues for optimization analyses and is therefore guiding current research. Corresponding research questions concern the operation, collaboration and real potential of the concept of digital twins.

  • Operator 4.0

    One important element of the Smart Factory research is the design of future workplaces seen from the organizational and the human perspective. Therefore, we investigate the topic Operator 4.0, where we expect the future scenario to take human cyber-physical production systems (H-CPPS) into account. This has implications for the competences and roles of future employees and the companies and industrial structure as such. Our research in this area is thus directly related to Industry 4.0 and the implementation thereof. We research HRC - Human Robot Collaboration solutions, where we use simulation and the digital twin in the design phase as well as in the operation phase.

  • Virtual and Augmented Reality

    Using virtual and augmented reality, we design digital prototypes of products and the production systems. In our research, we link virtual models of production systems to simulation models, which enables a virtual “walk in” into production systems and manufacturing lines. Through adaption and remodeling of single elements or entire systems, we can then identify and utilize optimization possibilities, e.g. in the working environment with collaborative robots.

  • Smart Learning Factory

    As a testing ground for our research, we use the SDU MCI Innovation lab, more specifically an area named the “Smart Learning Factory”. There we can demonstrate, test and showcase/communicate Industry 4.0 enabling technologies, with a special focus on easy accessible technologies for lean automation solutions. The Smart Learning Factory is a playground for our research where we can present simulations and physical small-scale reproduction of production/manufacturing systems. For this, we use our self-developed modular reconfigurable building blocks. Smart Prototyping Prototyping, a central part of the innovation process, is one of the most critical activities in the new product development. A number of prototypes are developed and tested before the products are produced and launched on the market. The modern NPD process often requires cross-disciplinary collaboration, and the implementation of prototyping in practice is often guided by ad hoc experience. The performance of the prototype and the cost of both time and materials could vary dramatically depending on who is working on it. Artificial Intelligence has fast growth in recent years and the algorithms have been applied in many fields. Related Research at the Faculty of Engineering If you are interested in related research at the Faculty of Engineering please follow the link below.