Circular strategies in the Manufacturing phase

Manufacturing Examples

Nagami Studio, a pioneer in innovative design, leverages artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, and augmented/virtual reality.

Sometimes when developing new furniture products, a certification and validation is needed before selling it to customers. This validation is made nowadays through physical prototypes, that are tested in testing laboratories, according to different testing standards, depending on the final use of the product. In many cases, and at this point of the development of the product, very serious delays can be produced before commercialization, since several tests may fail, and some redesigns may occur consequently.

An exemplary creation is Mawj, a chair showcasing the possibilities of 3D robotic printing in custom furniture. Crafted with advanced polymer plastics, Mawj is meticulously designed for comfort, structural stability, and ergonomics, representing a prototype developed using highly advanced design and production methods. It’s a composition of lines traversing space, forming the layers to be followed by 3D printing in a single continuous volume. These lines create sinuous curves while wrapping around the form. In each new layer, the curve inverts with a negative value, generating a wave-like pattern that emerges with larger waves on the surface. This pattern not only enhances structural rigidity but also contributes to a unique aesthetic that naturally arises from the parametric design of the chair.

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Sustainability benefits:

  • The chair is crafted using advanced polymer plastics through 3D robotic printing. This method allows for precise material usage, minimizing waste and contributing to overall material efficiency.
  • The meticulous design for comfort, structural stability, and ergonomics, along with the use of advanced materials, suggests a focus on creating a durable product. Long-lasting furniture reduces the need for frequent replacements, lowering the overall demand for resources and energy associated with manufacturing.

Compared to other sectors, the integration of robotics in textiles lags behind. This is partly due to the challenges in handling flexible materials. For a robot, handling solid materials such as wood or steel is standard. However, textile materials pose a unique challenge in robotics, although nothing is impossible.

The greatest challenge in robotics within the textile industry is the fineness and separation of fabric layers, considering the many variations that exist. As a result, different gripper technologies are required for robots, which must be adapted based on the material’s fineness. For thin fabrics, a roller gripper can be utilized. Rubber parallel grippers are also suitable for special fabrics. Small robots, usually handling payloads under ten kilograms, are employed for carrying tasks. These robots operate in minimal spaces and, thanks to their robust construction, they achieve maximum repeat accuracy and continuous precision at high speeds, ensuring high production quality. Robots utilize internal media sources for air, electricity, and data. Textile companies are offered and developed robots by firms such as Kuka.

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The entire group of robots in a factory is managed by a central IoT platform, which collects and displays data from all in-house robots transparently and clearly. Access is available from anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Key features of this platform include device management, preventive maintenance, fault detection, and alert notifications. Reports are visualized to aid in the easy interpretation of data and effective error resolution. This approach minimizes downtime and maximizes operational uptime.

Sustainability benefits:

  • High reliability, consistent quality and safety.
  • Reduced material and energy costs.

Robotic arm and control device