The FIAD 2 project, "Intelligent Additive Manufacturing on Demand", will end its research and development phase, obtaining the results of the project. This is an initiative financed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, in the support program for AEI – Innovative Business Groups – , which proposes the integration of additive manufacturing technology (3D printing) in the productive information flow of a company.
Representatives and experts in the field of functional printing and packaging, from Madrid, Catalonia and Navarra have worked collaboratively to offer a strategic solution that helps the digital transformation of Spanish SMEs, breaking down the technological barriers that exist today.
The idea arises as a result of a synergy established between the companies Addvance Manufacturing Technologies (Addvance) and TAI Smart Factory, both associated with Packaging Cluster, which detected a latent need: a structural change in the current business model that allows data management in the factory in an automated and connected way, optimizing manufacturing time, and trial and error. Within the framework of the Packaging Cluster, a relationship was established with an interconnected sector to expand the impact of the proposal, that of printing, hand in hand with Functional Print Cluster, representative of nearly 100 companies and entities from the world of graphic arts in Navarra.
Larrad charts, a specialized printing company and end user of the project, has been the setting in which Addvance and TAI Smart Factory, technological experts, have been able to integrate a new management system in the factory, with the know-how of the Leitat Technology Center and its 3D printer circuit, which was able to validate the viability of the project by testing with different prototypes.
The first step was to define, together with Gráficas Larrad, all the data and requirements that they needed to meet as a printing company in order to collect all the information that would later have to be automated in order to manage it: workflow, protocol and quality controls, necessary raw materials, product layout in the flow, machines involved during printing, communication with the 3D printer and other accessories, etc.
Once the roadmap was defined, Addvance and TAI Smart Factory developed software with which to define the product with a 3D catalog, plan production, execute the production process and certify its quality, with the corresponding evaluation reports. Thus, remotely, any client of Gráficas Larrad could place an order with their printing company without the need for intermediaries, quickly and easily. In addition, Addvance designed a digital inventory connected to the manufacturing center, with the aim of facilitating the full integration of production functions.
For its part, Leitat made its 3D printers connected to the printing company's inventory available to Gráficas Larrad, evaluating the different scenarios and use cases. In this way, Leitat acts as a direct supplier, printing the new Gráficas Larrad products on its 3D printers and sending them to the factory for start-up. The connection established between the printers and the Larrad ordering system has been made thanks to the knowledge of TAI Smart Factory.
Now, after several pilot tests, the results of the project have been validated among all the partners, after months of co-creation work.
The new solution will make it possible to digitize the Gráficas Larrad manufacturing process, monitor and control its data, optimize time by avoiding trial and error with the client and expand its portfolio of innovation projects, which can be replicar many other companies in the sector. FIAD 2 is just a sample of the potential of betting on Industry 4.0 in our country.