EFFIMEC project: process efficiency through digitalization

Ecor International is currently working on a project to develop digitization processes.

Project introduction:

Ecor International is currently working on a project to develop digitization processes.

The project is called “High-efficiency production systems for specialized mechanical components, EFFIMEC”. It concerns the “Advanced Manufacturing and Processing” in the application area “Intelligent Factory“. The project has a duration of 36 months.

The project proposal, submitted in 2022, aims to develop high-efficiency production systems to minimize production costs and improve both profitability and product quality, and also to introduce advanced digital systems into business processes.

Structuring an integrated set of transversal competencies to support manufacturers of automatic machines and aircraft engine parts, is the strategic objective of the project. It will pursued through innovative and high-tech solutions, both from the point of view of service on the third-party product and through the availability of its own products (components and subsystems) for integration into more complex systems.       
Ecor International indeed is a strategic partner of companies and multinationals companies, operating in both the food packaging and aviation sectors.

The sectors involved: food packaging and aerospace

The innovative solutions developed involve the automatic packaging and wrapping machine sector as well as the aerospace sector, both of which are experiencing strong growth trends. 

Overall, we can say that the production of automatic machines sees Italy as one of the world’s leading countries, both in terms of turnover volumes and technological excellence (with reference to production speed, production performance and efficiency, and quality parameters).

The economic parameters are considered as a strategic asset to be optimized. And it’s clear that strengthening the competitiveness of the sector cannot be separated from innovations in the technological field.

Open systems characterised by high modularity must be developed in order to increase industrial performance (linked to increased production speeds), high flexibility in relation to the products and formats processed, and the consequent decrease in operating costs, environmental compatibility and reduced energy impact.

Likewise, in the Aerospace sector the main asset for increasing competitiveness is the development of process/product systems characterised by low cost/performance and very high reliability, especially in a period of strong pressure to delocalise production to more or less emerging countries. (Source: Regional Council Resolution No. 646 of 01 June 2022)

The EFFIMEC project aims to develop innovative process/product systems in these two sectors.
In the food packaging sector, it focuses on the mechanical assemblies of critical tubular circuits of automatic machines, while in the aeronautical sector on engine and aerostructure components made of special alloys.

The required skills: surface engineering and joining technology

The disciplines involved in the project developments are part of the field of surface engineering and surface interactions, including special joining processes.

“In the contexts studied by the EFFIMEC project, the so-called critical components (i.e. all the mechanical parts whose potential failure has a direct impact on the safety and health of humans and the environment) are relevant,” explains Domenico Stocchi, Research & Innovation Director of Ecor International.
“For the automatic machines, these components are mostly components in contact with food/medical products, while in the aerospace sector they can be a multitude of aerostructure parts and engines. These critical products, as well as requiring manufacturing based on the most modern total quality methodologies, must be accompanied by reliability and robustness studies, both from a predictive modelling point of view and from a more strictly experimental point of view’.

General objectives of the project

The overall objective of the project is pursued not only by innovating production technologies but also by developing specific open software platforms capable of processing the information collected from the plant. The production line is connected to a simulation environment with the help of Digital Twin systems. The information generated is at the service of making the production process more efficient, thanks to smart manufacturing tools.

The research centre Il Sentiero International Campus, thanks to the expected results of the EFFIMEC project, is developing complex process and product methodologies and systems. These developments can be put at the service of the Italian production fabric of advanced mechanics (with important benefits in the Veneto region), consisting not only of large but also of small and medium-sized enterprises. The technological growth will be one of the most important assets for increasing competitiveness in the coming years.

In conclusion, Ecor International, thanks to the EFFIMEC project, aims to strengthen its manufacturing focus, with an increase in skills and specialisations in the fields of design and production of tubular systems made of stainless steel and precious alloys and joining technologies (welding and brazing) for complex systems related to the three reference market areas (the food industry, aerospace and advanced mechanics). In these market areas will be introduced elements related to the scenarios of innovative digitalisation processes that affect both process and product.