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The SmoothIT project will develop models, methods, tools, and optimization algorithms to help Swedish industry create smoother robot movements, which will decrease energy use and increase life-time. In addition, the development and maintenance work will be improved by the help of tools for condition monitoring and online prediction for maintenance planning. The overall aim is to reduce the energy usage of machines and robots with up to 30% and increase the life-time of the devices with more than 10%. Recent research results from Chalmers have shown that by tuning the motions of a robot slightly, the energy use can be reduced by 10-30%, while still preserving the cycle time. These tuned motions are smoother than the original motions, increasing the life-time of the robot and its components by reducing wear and tear. The SmoothIT project thus aims to develop tools and methods to increase the awareness of energy usage and by that, realize design and decision support during virtual development to create sustainable motions. Tools and methods will also be developed that can monitor the production and identify motions that need to be improved or maintenance work that should be planned. In addition, online tools will be developed that can automatically optimize the production by tuning the motions to reduce the energy use and increase the lifetime of the devices. The project is divided in three areas: 1) virtual development and the digital twin, 2) condition monitoring and maintenance, and 3) online prediction and optimization. In the first area, tools and methods will be developed in order to increase the awareness of energy usage and by that realize design and decision support during virtual development to create sustainable motions. The second area will develop tools and methods that can monitor the production and identify motions that need to be improved or maintenance work that should be planned. In the last area, online tools will be developed that can automatically optimize the production by tuning the motions to reduce the energy use and increase the lifetime of the devices. These three areas will support Swedish industry to improve all motions in production and make them sustainable. The involved partners in the project are: Chalmers University of Technology, University West, Fraunhofer Chalmers Center, Volvo Car Corporation, AB Volvo, Scania, GKN and ABB. This project combines smart modelling, simulation, optimization, machine learning and data aggregation into a test bed, and develops a set of software tools that can be used by the industrial partners at the end of the project.

Participating Researchers 
Fredrik Danielsson
Emile Glorieux

Collaboration partners 
Chalmers Tekniska Högskola
Volvo Cars
AB Volvo
Scania
ABB
GKN
Fraunhofer Chalmers Center

External funding from 
Vinnova

Duration 
2017 - 2020

                                          

Updated by Victoria Sjöstedt