17 December 2018

ACSE’s exciting new piece of equipment ‘The Festo Cyber Physical Smart Factory’ has arrived

The Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering have received an exciting new piece of kit, housed in The Diamond.

Dr Payam Soulatiantork with the FESTO cyberphysical lab
Dr Payam Soulatiantork working on the FESTO cyberphysical lab

The Festo Cyber-Physical Lab is a fully fledged industry 4.0 learning system in a compact size, designed for teaching practical skills in digitalised industrial production.

Industry 4.0 (also referred to as the 4th industrial revolution) is the name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

The modular FESTO kit will be used to give hands on experience to our Automatic Control and Systems Engineering students for further training up to the level of industry 4.0 and smart factory - in the domain of industrial automation.

Dr Payam Soulatiantrok

University Teacher in Industrial Automation

Investment in the Festo Cyber Physical lab will give our undergraduate students at the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering a unique learning opportunity in the UK, to place them at the forefront of Industry 4.0 and smart factory operation in the 21st Century. 

The Cyber Physical lab is composed of three parts: two fixed workstations and a robotino (autonomous vehicle) which travels between them. Each system has its own controller for autonomous operation. Information is embedded in the travelling workpiece or its carrier, which communicates with the manufacturing execution system that oversees the operation of the whole lab.

Augmented Reality is also available so the process can be observed through the screen of a computer or tablet, which allows you to see live process data superimposed on a digital representation of the system.

The kit will be used to give hands on experience to our Automatic Control and Systems Engineering students in the domain of smart industrial automation. The modular and flexible configuration has a range of learning scenarios that can be worked on, from individual pallet transfer systems with integrated control to a connection production system with cloud services. It will be at the centre of a newly created module which will cover several topics around industrial control.

ACSE students will learn how to program and interface to physical machinery, just like they would in real life situations on the floor of any factory. Other hot topics related to Industry 4.0, like cybersecurity can be explained, to counter any intrusion on the shop floor by hackers.

Watch the Festo Lab in action

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