At Better Factory, we believe in a future where technology and innovation come together to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. Our mission is to optimize waste, energy, and resources, ushering in a new era of Lean-Agile Production. In this blog post, we’ll explore one of the core results of our project – APPS – and take you on a journey through the diverse training resources available from the Better Factory ecosystem.

Understanding APPS  

APPS, short for Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling, is the heart and soul of the Better Factory project. It’s a combination of software services and hardware infrastructure designed to revolutionize manufacturing. In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, APPS integrates advanced technologies like 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing to create materials more efficiently, reducing energy consumption, costs, and waste.

Four Pillars of APPS

APPS is divided into four main domains or categories, each contributing to a specific aspect of production optimization:

  • Logistics Automation: The logistics automation module optimizes routes, agents, and material flows in production, simplifying the process of creating efficient logistics solutions.
  • Production Reconfiguration:This category focuses on reconfiguring the production line to produce different product variants, enhancing flexibility in manufacturing.
  • Cognitive Human-Robot Interaction (HRI): APPS promotes collaboration between humans and robots, improving working conditions and enhancing performance. This includes tools for pose detection and fatigue monitoring.
  • Resource Optimization: The resource optimization package uses data analytics to minimize consumption, thus reducing waste and environmental impact.

Exploring APPS in Detail

Let’s delve into a couple of APPS modules to understand their functionalities.  

Within a Logistics Automation domain there’s a module called Agent Optimization, which calculates the optimal number of agents needed for material transport, whether it’s AGVs, humans, or other entities, making material flow more efficient. 

Switching to the Cognitive HRI domain, we encounter the Pose Detection and Tracking module. This advanced technology has the ability to estimate a worker’s posture, conduct ergonomic analysis, and generate ergonomic scores. These capabilities play a vital role in reducing physical stress levels in the workplace.  

Within the Production Reconfiguration category, we have the Advanced Plant Model and 3D Digital Twin. This tool delivers a real-time digital representation of the manufacturing area, enabling a comprehensive understanding of the shop floor and the production schedule.

Current APPS Status  

Over the past year, Better Factory has made significant strides in the deployment of APPS. We initiated the testing phase during the first Knowledge Transfer Experiments (KTEs), where each KTE was tasked with testing two of the APPS modules. You can track the ongoing tests on the APPS page of our website.  

Moreover, our second round of KTEs is now starting to utilize APPS for their own testing purposes, further propelling the project toward its goals.

Better Factory Trainings  

At Better Factory, we’re committed to equipping you with the knowledge and skills needed to harness the full potential of our APPS modules, facilitating seamless integration into your manufacturing processes. Our APPS-focused training resources are designed to empower you with the expertise required to enhance production efficiency and innovation. 

There are different trainings related to each of the four APPS categories. Whether you are a novice or an industry expert, our training resources are structured to cater to your specific needs and skill levels. From mastering the fundamentals to diving deep into advanced applications, we ensure that you’re well-equipped to harness the full potential of Better Factory’s APPS technology, thus catapulting your manufacturing processes into the future of Lean-Agile Production.

Eager to dive deeper into the world of APPS and gain the knowledge and skills required to leverage its full potential? Explore the Apps and Training sections on our website and read about the experiments and their gains within the Better Factory project.