A seminar on intelligent manufacturing organized by National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) and the Academia-Industry Consortium for Southern Taiwan Science Park (AIC) under the Ministry of Science and Technology guidance took place on the 15th of July, 2021. In response to the COVID-19 level 3 alert, the seminar was held online and attended by over 300 participants, features Professor Fan-Tien Cheng, Director of the Intelligent Manufacturing Research Center of NCKU, who is known as the "Father of Semiconductor Automation," as the keynote speaker. He indicated that the primary goal of intelligent manufacturing is to realize "Zero-Defect Manufacturing," which is the vision of "Industry 4.1."
Intelligent Manufacturing for "Zero-Defect Manufactruring"
Prof. Cheng said that the main goal of intelligent manufacturing is to achieve "Zero Defects in all products." To accomplish intelligent manufacturing, an Intelligent Factory Automation (iFA) platform is established. This platform features CPA, an Internet of Things (IoT) components with edge computing capabilities and can be embedded with intelligent application modules such as Automatic Virtual Metrology (AVM), Intelligent Predictive Maintenance (IPM), Intelligent Yield Management (IYM) and other intelligent application modules. By building this iFA platform, we can assist various industries in digital transformation and complete the infrastructure of big data collection for intelligent manufacturing, and then we can use this iFA platform to achieve the goal of nearly-Zero Defects in all products, which is "Industry 4.1."
The iFA platform is currently widely used in various industries, including ASE Group in the semiconductor industry, Taililang of Formosa Plastic Group in the carbon fiber industry, Aerospace Industrial Development Corp in the aerospace industry, Chumpower Machinery Corp in the blow molding machine industry, FEMCO Group in the automotive industry, and Taiwan Hopax Chemicals Manufacturing Co of the Stick'n, said Prof. Cheng. In the future, the iFA platform will gradually evolve into Digital Twins for Intelligent Manufacturing (DTiM), a system that integrates the physical entities with the virtual spaces which can generate a digital virtualized processing line by combining the physical devices and their corresponding virtual modules, in order to achieve the goals of no defective products, Zero Defects quality assurance, machine health monitoring, and timely optimized dispatch.
On the other hand, the symposium also invited member schools of the GLORIA 2.0 SOUTH platform, which was initiated by NCKU, to share their ideas and tasks about intelligent manufacturing and to introduce their areas of expertise and future plans. The exchange of ideas between the experts of the four universities, including Prof. Hung-kai Wang of NCKU, Prof. Jeng-nan Lee of Cheng Shiu University, Prof. Tzu-chi Chan of National Formosa University, and Prof. Wan-jung Chang of Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, was informative and insightful.
Intelligent manufacturing is a growing trend in the market, and it is a goal that companies are pursuing in the coming years. Industry 4.1, the artificial intelligence of things (AIoT), big data, and process intelligence can all be applied to factory production lines. Industry-academia collaboration is now the norm, with schools' advanced technologies and concepts providing enterprises with more solutions and research development. In recent years, demonstration sites and similar production lines have been set up to bring schools closer to the production lines, thus contributing to the overall competitiveness of Taiwan.
Prof. Fan-Tien Cheng, Director of the Intelligent Manufacturing Research Center at NCKU, is a renowned expert in intelligent manufacturing.
The intelligent manufacturing symposium brought together member schools of the GLORIA 2.0 SOUTH platform to share their expertise and future plans for intelligent manufacturing.