The team of the R&D Centre AUTOMOTIVE is also the Science and Technology Team of Year 2016
The development, production and implementation of technological application of a collaborative robot into production and non-production process of the automobile factory ŠKODA AUTO, Inc. The working team of the R&D Centre AUTOMOTIVE dealing with this topic has received the Award for Science and Technology 2016 in the category Science and Technology Team of Year. The leader of the team is Ing. Stanislav Korec, who works in the MATADOR Industries, Dubnica nad Váhom.
The culmination of the Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia is the awarding of the Award for Science and Technology. The event aims to recognise the work of scientists and researchers for their achievements and contribution in the field of science, technology and innovation. Nominees for each category have received the award from the hands of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic Peter Plavčan at the gala evening on 10 November 2016.
The awarded R&D Centre AUTOMOTIVE works as an expert platform in areas such as robotics (also for engineering) and automated control of production technological processes. The proponent of the award for the team of experts from Dubnica nad Váhom was Klub 500.
R&D Centre AUTOMOTIVE was established by the subsidiary companies of the MATADOR Group, which is the largest Slovak TIER 1 supplier and one of the most successful Slovak companies. It is the first in Central and Eastern Europe and also the first in the whole Volkswagen Group to deploy the application of collaborative robot, which it also developed. R&D Centre AUTOMOTIVE focuses on general engineering, piece – custom parts manufacturing, production of pressing equipment and industrial automation.
Robot that works right alongside humans
The reasoning for awarding the Award of Science and Technology 2016 states that the novelty of their solution lies in the fact that the robot does not have to be placed in a cage for safety reasons and it can work right alongside a man, while maintaining all safety standards. The team comprised workers, who were in the framework of the project able to utilise their skills from the area of development, robotics, security, automation and control systems.
The head of the winning team Ing. Stanislav Korec said, "We appreciate this awards very much. It was a big surprise for us to receive it and it happened in the process of finalising other technological application that we are currently working on."
A big role in awarding this prestigious award played the fact that this is one of the first integrations of this type of robot not only in Slovakia, but also in the world as such. The results of the Centre AUTOMOTIVE's scientific-research activity were subsequently successfully deployed into practice at the customer ŠKODA AUTO, Inc. This year, the project was also awarded the "Innovative Achievement of 2015".
The award was received by Mr. Juraj Čapek, Director of Industrial Automation Division of the Matador Industries company
Something new and less conventional
Ing. Stanislav Korec explains, "In developing this application, we had to adopt a number of new technologies and processes“, while in case of mechanics and application design, it was mainly the use and management of rapid prototyping (the use of 3D printing). "From a programming standpoint, it was coping with the new object oriented programming philosophy, which is very different from the existing way of conventional robotics programming utilised in the industry."
As the head of the awarded team continues, the complexity of work on this project is mainly its necessity to change the existing conventions when designing applications. Ing. Stanislav Korec says, "The way in which the safety of this application is achieved is completely different from the established solutions. Each team member had to manage the transition to new ways of dealing with such application. The differences are in each stage of application development, starting with the initial design of mechanics and electronics, and ending with the final fine-tuning of control program."
He is convinced that every member of his team showed a great deal of patience and perseverance in overcoming problems, which were brought along by the project. "During the development, it was necessary to respond to newly discovered obstacles that could not be resolved with the prior methods known from industrial applications."
The priority of the team that received the Award for Science and Technology 2016 in the category Science and Technology Team of Year is to expand its ranks with new graduates. Therefore, they cooperate with technical universities, especially with the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava and directly with the National Centre for Robotics, which operates at the university. Ing. Stanislav Korec adds "We plan to continue working with universities, whether through consulting on theses' topics – for which we provide topics from real problems which we encounter in practice or directly through joint collaboration on projects with the National Centre of Robotics."
How to further popularise Slovak science?
He believes it is precisely the cooperation of universities with technology companies, which would help in terms of greater popularisation of Slovak science, research, innovations and the work of our scientific researchers. "Linking theory with practice and especially providing support to capable students is the most important in the process of science popularisation."
The head of the winning team of this years' Award for Science and Technology concluded, "Graduates, who are working on development at universities need to get similar conditions as those offered by commercial sector in order to be motivated to work on further development. Our cooperation with universities showed us that Slovakia still has smart people, with whom you can work on further development of Slovak science."
The Award for Science and Technology has been awarded since 2014, replacing the Award of the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The objective of this transformation is to increase the social prestige of the awards for science and technology.
Please visit the event's website Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia (only Slovak version) to find the list of all awarded in the individual categories, or see the e-newspapers Scientific kaleidoscope.
The main organiser of the Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic in cooperation with the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information and the National Centre for the Popularisation of Science and Technology in Society. The general partner of the event is Huawei.
Edited by: Slávka Habrmanová, NCP S&T within the SCSTI
Intro photo: from the archive of Stanislav Korec
Photo: Ján Laštinec, NCP S&T within the SCSTI
Published by: ZVČ
Assigned to article:
13. Nov. 2016