Decision & control

How can we improve the performance and autonomy of mechatronic systems?

MEASUREMENTS ARE THE KEY TO KNOWLEDGE AND OPTIMISATION

Andrei Bartic, who has a background in physics, today heads as Cluster Manager one of our four new competence clusters, i.e. the Decision & Control cluster. “By reducing the focus of our competences from eight to four core domains, our research efforts together with companies and research organisations have become less fragmented and mutual cooperation can be stimulated. I also believe that this simplification lowers thresholds.”

We are increasingly evolving from mass production to mass customisation. This entails major challenges for our production environments, which not only have to produce in a very flexible way but must also keep costs well under control. “Within our Decision & Control cluster, we examine how we can optimise the performance of mechatronic systems in companies”, says Andrei Bartic.

“Obviously, you can only improve your performances when you have disposal of correct data. In this context, sensors play a crucial part as they allow companies to collect essential data. At Flanders Make, we do not develop sensors ourselves but we do assist companies in adjusting these sensors to their needs and in combining them. In this process, we also use virtual sensors to measure parameters that cannot be measured directly, such as the strength of or load on a system.”
 
“In a following step, we help to set up monitoring systems that collect the data transmitted by these sensors. This leads to relevant information that can be used to carry through targeted improvements in terms of, among others, energy efficiency, operator comfort and process quality.”

Virtual tests

“An interesting research project within our cluster focuses on virtual testing of controllers, with the model replacing the actual system. This leads to relevant information on the system performance under various, virtually tested conditions. In other words, you do not actually need to test the controllers under all these conditions, which saves us a significant amount of time.”

Andrei Bartic

“Virtual tests enable us to acquire relevant information on the system performance under various conditions, which saves us a significant amount of time.”

Andrei Bartic