CASE STUDY: IR4 – Mass communication via robotic automation

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IR4 is an early revenue technology company that is setting global benchmarks in flexibility for the application of automation solutions.

By utilising 3D model data as the single key input to system automation and control, solutions become viable in manufacturing environments characterised by:

  • low volume
  • significant product and environmental variability
  • large numbers of product variants.

Once a 3D model is imported, the system simply requires raw stock and consumables to be maintained to automatically manufacture the specified products. When the design / product changes, the system automatically reprograms itself with an upload of the revised 3D model.

IR4 licenses their technology to another Australian company, SSS Manufacturing, to fabricate structural steel. At SSS Manufacturing, the real-time automation solution uses the system’s artificial intelligence to calculate the most efficient way to process steel sections presented for fabrication. Processing includes all functions required to fabricate a steel section, being handling, blasting, scanning, cutting, coping, holing, welding, and painting. By using the 3D model, SSS Manufacturing has realised a reduction of more than 75 per cent in the labour content required to fabricate steel sections, despite incorporating innumerable variations, with 100% accuracy. This translates to significant customer benefits that include cost, quality, traceability, scheduling and ease of implementation of design changes.

IR4 is now working towards delivering extended capability and industry technology transfers. Additional capabilities being developed include:

  • human machine collaboration
  • solutions derived directly from 3D scanning data devoid of any 3D model data.

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