POB5.T1 Automation of production processes, industrial automation,
With every next industrial revolution, automation has become a crucial part of the production processes and now is present in every branch of the industry and frequently is important part of our everyday life. The concept of Industry 4.0 has provided a wide spectrum of novel and innovative tools, improving the efficiency of automatic systems even further. Nowadays, the most challenging task for the research community and socio-economic environment is to skillfully use these tools in the automation of entire value chains.
The first thematic sub-area is focusing around the research on automation of production processes, industrial automation and application of control theory and process control. Many years of experience in designing and commissioning of the control systems is the foundation of nowadays research initiatives of Silesian University of Technology staff. Research trends are, however, very often determined by the cooperation with local and international industry. Jointly implemented projects, directly commissioned from industry, or co-financed by national and European institutions, relate to many industries, including automotive, mining, raw materials processing, energy, construction, chemical, pharmacology and biotechnology.
The research conducted within POB5 scope concern modern control methods, including the use of artificial intelligence methods, e.g. for automatic assessment of the control quality or automatic improvement of the control quality. The research activities are focused on the practical implementation of advanced control algorithms, including predictive, adaptive and non-linear algorithms, as well as the implementation of modern methods of tuning regulators, taking into account the limitations and technological conditions in the industry. Often, automation systems require dedicated and efficient hardware solutions, which is why we conduct research and development and implementation works in the field of design and construction of high-speed microprocessor systems, multi-processor and multi-context computing systems, including real-time systems.
Designing dedicated, multi-level and decentralized control systems often requires a holistic approach, which is why the research teams established at the Silesian University of Technology specialize in modern measurement techniques, including dedicated indirect measurements, as well as in process modeling, designing dedicated control structures and algorithms for direct, supervisory and optimizing control or effective export of data from control systems. This enables to design dedicated automation solutions for individual machines or subsystems, but also to design complex solutions for autonomous production systems or systems that fully automate the production processes.
In order to meet the expectations of the socio-economic environment in increasing the implementation rate of Industry 4.0 solutions in enterprises, employees of the Silesian University of Technology train future staff in the design of modern control systems using PLC, SCADA and DCS systems and in configuration of safe and resilient communication in automation systems, also with the use of IIoT or Edge Computing solutions.