Born in 1964, Master degree 1986 as Engineer in electromechanic orientation Automation and robotics. In 1986 my thesis was 'Development of software algorithm to control a robot by vision system to pick unknown object'. Today we are far away of this time.
When I started my job in May 1987 as project engineer in Socabelec, I was introduced immediately to a project including automation and robotics. I did an MBO in 1997 and Socabelec became my company. I decided to focus on the development of exporting equipment for automotive glass production. The major flat glass producers were our customers.
Our first experience in hollow glass started in 2011 where we have been recommended by Fanuc robotics to Ardagh glass to solve their swabbing problem.
In 18 months R&D, we developed the first swabbing-robot able to swab on the fly without any need to stop production.
This robot installed in Dec 2013 is still in use and production.
In 18 months we sold 12 robots for different customers and brands of IS machines.
In manual swabbing, operators are using a brush to swab. What kind of feedback can you have from a brush? Not much.
In Socabelec’s swabbing-robot we are using a controlled spray, and then the collected information linked to the swabbing is very big. Not only quantity of oil sprayed, but a lot of parameters linked to the position of the robot during spray, size of bottle, type of neck ring, embossing or not. If we leave these parameters stored locally in the memory of the robot we are just making mass production, but if we share this information with a cloud which has appropriate data mining software, we can have feedback from other robots and compare how good the one installed in plant X compares to the average of robot, or comparing with the best one producing a similar product.
You could upload parameters from the cloud when you would like to create a new job using experience of the community. This is Industry 4.0.
Of course using sensors you could have more information to help to produce, but without a swabbing robot you will be depending on the human operator. So the Socabelec’s swabbing-robot is really the key to enter into I4.0.
The human in those plants are the most important key for efficiency, they have to do the maintenance at the right time, adjust the loading of gob, remove blanks etc.