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PDEng position: The Challenge of Automation (Robotics) in a Veal Production Plant

Καταληκτική Ημερομηνία: 
Σάββατο, Οκτώβριος 31, 2020

The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) programme Robotics offers you a 2-year position combining post MSc education and a design project to be carried out at VanDrie Group.

The educational programme, carried out at the University of Twente, will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. In collaboration with VanDrie Group you will work on high level, creative new designs for complex issues. The goal of the VanDrie Group is that their current production line will be analyzed so they will get insight into the future opportunities and challenges related to automation of that line.

The project – The Challenge of Automation (Robotics) in a Veal Production Plant
Processing of veal meat is a labor intensive process requiring skilled staff. As is the case within many industry branches, skilled labor is hard to find while the success of the process depends on their availability and efficient application. Automation of tasks throughout the company is seen as one of the solutions to overcome the pitfalls of the scarcity of labor. Two aspects hinder the easy implementation of automation in veal production. Veal production is a niche market. This is the reason why only few of the standard automation solutions that have already tackled major automation challenges are available. Furthermore, calves coming in to the production site show large variations on size, weight and breed. An automation solution is required that is able to deal with these variations efficiently.

In this project you will first focus on analyzing the current production line. You will do so by describing the individual production steps and estimating their relative contribution to production effort. Furthermore, the suitability for automation has to be assessed. Based on these two evaluations, production steps which are most suitable for automation and have a large impact on production traits as described earlier, are the first candidates for automation. In cooperation with the VanDrie Group one of these candidates will be selected and an automation solution will be designed and validated.

The PDEng project will focus on obtaining the following results:

A model to evaluate production effort versus automation suitability. It will be used within the project but should also be available and usable after the completion of the project.
An evaluation of a current production line (line to be chosen by VanDrie Group) with the focus on identification of easy first steps (low hanging fruit) and hard bottlenecks.
The design of an automation solution for one/two of the suitable steps in the production line.
The construction and evaluation of a prototype of the automation solution.

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