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August 24, 2017 | Toward improved production monitoring for manufacturing

suivi production industrie cea list
© - Laurentiu Iordache

List, a CEA Tech institute, has developed a method that makes production monitoring indicator calculations more reliable. The novel and practical method, developed for a food production plant, is also compatible with the needs of other industries.

The calculations used for the ongoing monitoring of production processes in industry depend on sensors on the production line. If a sensor is faulty, the calculations will be inaccurate. The extrapolation techniques generally used to fill in holes in the data are not always effective.

Researchers at List developed a more sophisticated prediction algorithm to make production monitoring more reliable. The algorithm uses a statistical regression analysis that takes into account the sensor's history and measurement redundancy. The algorithm then determines the best prediction strategy and creates a model. To confirm the method's effectiveness, actual data and data obtained through different algorithms were compared. "When there are not a lot of holes in the data, all of the methods perform similarly," said a List researcher. "However, when the amount of missing data is more substantial or if the process is very irregular, regression analysis is more effective."

The algorithm was validated on a wide range of data and is currently being scaled up for use in a food manufacturing plant. Its use will then be expanded to other industries. This very generic approach can be used for any continuous manufacturing process as well as for energy monitoring.


August 10, 2017 | Handling contaminated waste safely

Romans manipulation secure web

List, a CEA Tech institute, recently developed a new robotic system to remotely handle waste for the nuclear industry. The research was conducted as part of the EU RoMaNS project.

Nuclear plants represent one of the EU's largest environmental cleanup projects. The H2020 RoMaNS project set out to develop a remote operation system to safely sort and separate contaminated waste.

The demonstrator system built drew heavily on robotics technologies developed at List, a project partner, including master-slave force-feedback systems in which a slave robot operates in the contaminated environment "mimicking" the movements made by a master robot controlled by an operator.

On the master side, the system is made up of a force-feedback glove mounted on a haptic feedback arm developed and sold by Haption, a List spinoff. The compact, lightweight glove allows precise handling of objects in the environment. The slave robot is made up of a gripping system with a structure similar to a human hand mounted on a six-axis robotic arm, "to provide the most natural and intuitive handling experience possible," said one researcher. To achieve the level of dexterity required, the intuitive control of the coupling between the master and slave components will now have to be finalized.


July 3, 2017 | Ensuring Cybersecurity: a matter of software

cybersecurite 250Software drives more than 80% of the functionalities inside modern-day industrial systems: its trustworthiness and security has now become a major differentiator.

By building on experience gained in a wide range of critical domains, and adding innovative ways to integrate with modern software development lifecycles, Bureau Veritas and CEA Tech provide efficient means to perform high-value assurance and certification activities.

Both partners have identified the vital need to secure software components while preserving the business value to industrial stakeholders in digital transformation. Today these dual objectives are addressed by their innovative “Cybersecurity Guidelines for Software Development & Assessment” which act as a lynchpin to achieving resource-efficient production of secure software. The distinctive feature of the guidelines is their focus on the innovative use of automated software security tools. Innovative solutions, such as CEA Tech’s Frama-C platform, are designed to secure the most risk-critical software in the system, time- and cost-effectively.

Ultimately, software security specialists can rely on two complementary pillars: a concise and flexible set of guidelines for software development and assessment; and a direct relationship between these guidelines and existing, state-of-the-art security tools.

Download the “Cybersecurity Guidelines for Software Development & Assessment


June 16, 2017 | Startup Isybot to address collaborative robotics market

List CEA Tech
© Echord++ / Hauke Seyfarth

List, a CEA Tech institute, recently set up a startup called Isybot to develop and commercialize the institute's most powerful command-control and actuator solutions for the collaborative robotics market.

One of the greatest challenges facing the Factory of the Future (FoF) is to ensure that human operators remain at the center of production processes. Isybot, List's latest startup, will respond to this need with a collaborative robot (cobot) that shares the workspace with a human operator and that offers demonstration-based learning capabilities.

Isybot's collaborative robot leverages a ball-screw-and-cable actuator technology that does not require force sensors: the force applied is controlled by measuring the electric current in the motors. The result is a simpler, better-performing, and more flexible and robust robot that offers greater responsiveness and precision.

The robot also features a patented technology that lets it "learn" how much force to apply. For sanding, for instance, the human operator simply performs the movement with the intended direction and intensity once; the robot can then reproduce the movement as many times as necessary. Isybot's go-to-market strategy will initially target needs like polishing mechanical and composite parts, and the startup has a partnership with List to develop specific solutions to meet business' needs.


May 22, 2017 | Cabling systems: detecting defects before a failure occurs

List CEA Tech
© Nicomatic

List, a CEA Tech institute, has developed the first-ever industrial-scale reflectometry-based embedded early cable defect detection demonstrator system.

When it comes to aircraft cabling systems, early-stage defects account for 45 % of damage-inducing faults. And yet, traditional reflectometry techniques are mainly useful in detecting dead shorts. A system to detect early-stage defects would let aircraft maintenance technicians attend to these defects before they generate faults.

The demonstrator developed by List leverages a circuit board that injects an orthogonal multi-tone time domain reflectometry (OMTDR) signal into the cabling system. When the signal passes through a defective area, some of its energy is sent back to the injection point, while the rest continues to propagate throughout the system. The circuit board creates the reflectogram from the data, and then uses an innovative algorithm protected by several patents to fuse the results from several post-processing methods to provide robust, multi-criteria diagnostics. Another benefit is that a master circuit board can communicate with additional slave circuit boards that send their own reflectograms, resulting in an even more precise combined analysis.

The demonstrator system can detect smaller insulation and shielding defects on twisted-pair and twisted-quad cables than current detection systems. For example, the system picked up a 5 mm-long shielding defect and a bend radius of ten times or less than the cable's diameter during testing, a world-first. The compact system can be integrated into connectors to build self-diagnosing complex cable assemblies. The demonstrator system was presented at a conference and will soon be scaled-up by Nicomatic for manufacturing.