The concept of the MUSIC project

High Pressure Die Casting (HPDC) of light alloys and Plastic Injection Moulding (PIM) are two of the most representative large-scale production-line in manufacturing field, which are strategic for the EU-industry largely dominated by SMEs. Due to the high number of process variables involved and to the non-synchronisation of the process control units, HPDC and PIM are most “defect-generating” and “energy-consumption” processes in EU industry showing less flexibility to any changes in  products and in process evolution. In both, sustainability issue imposes that machines/systems are able to efficiently and ecologically support the production with higher quality, faster delivery times, and shorter times between successive generations of products.

Therefore, the MUSIC is strongly aimed at leading EU-HPDC/PIM factories to cost-based competitive advantage through the necessary transition to a demand-driven industry with lower waste generation, efficiency, robustness and minimum energy consumption. The development and integration of a completely new ICT platform, based on  innovative Control and Cognitive system linked to real time monitoring, allows an active control of quality, avoiding the presence of defects or over-cost by directly acting on the process-machine variables optimisation or equipment boundary conditions. The Intelligent Manufacturing Approach (IMA) will work at machine-mould project level to optimise/adapt the production to the specific product and can be extended at factory level to select/plan the appropriated and available production line. The sensors calibration and quality measurements will be the pre-requisite of Intelligent Sensor Network (ISN) to monitor the real-time production and specific focus will be also devoted to Standardisation issues.

The challenge of MUSIC is to transform a production-rate-dominated manufacturing field into a quality/efficiency-driven and integration-oriented one to exploit the enormous (and still underestimated) potential of HPDC/PIM through collaborative research and technological development, along the value chain with research groups, design, engineering and manufacturing companies and through advances in manufacturing, ICT and model process technologies.