The University of Chile, together with ASIMET and Corfo, are developing technological solutions to move Chilean industry from traditional to advanced manufacturing by taking advantage of the fourth revolution.
The University of Chile, together with ASIMET and Corfo, are developing technological solutions to move Chilean industry from traditional to advanced manufacturing by taking advantage of the fourth revolution. The objective is to increase productivity.
Digital technologies associated with manufacturing are streamlining the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Chile. Advanced Manufacturing combines machinery and digital technologies to create value, which is reflected in intelligent and connected production chains that coordinate and monitor production, distribution and after-sales processes.
Manufacturing industry is one of Chile's main sources of revenue. However, its percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been decreasing since 2008 at an average annual rate of 1.7%, and by 2024 it is expected to represent only 8.62%. Therefore, Universidad de Chile, together with the Asociación de Industrias Metalúrgicas y Metalmecánicas A.G. (ASIMET) and Corfo, have been developing initiatives that will increase productivity and employment within Chile's manufacturing companies.
Technological revolution in Chile
The Mechanical Engineering Department at the Universidad de Chile was awarded 1.7 billion Chilean pesos from CORFO’s "Strategic Technology Program: Driving Advanced Manufacturing using the Technological Revolution".
How did they do it? An academic team from Universidad de Chile brought together SMEs, large manufacturing companies, Chilean and foreign technology suppliers, and Chilean universities under its "Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Program" (IMA+). Co-executors of this program are the Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH), the Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana (UTEM) and Seguel Robotics SpA. Also participating are GHH Chile, Hunter Douglas, Sandiman and MCM Ingeniería.
Impact on productivity
"We want to impact Chilean manufacturing industry by increasing productivity, improving safety and increasing the availability and efficiency of companies and their production processes, by providing the predictive, control, management and technological systems associated with Advanced Manufacturing," said the IMA+ Director, Dr. Viviana Meruane, who leads this program. She added, "As a leading University in Research and Technology Transfer we are responsible for providing Chile with solutions, while taking industry into consideration as we cannot do it alone."
What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 is characterized by the rapid advancement of disruptive technologies associated with data generation, storage and processing, human-machine interaction and digital-to-physical conversion, which will digitize the manufacturing sector.
Accordingly, the Mechanical Engineering Department at Universidad de Chile aims to join with industry in developing these technologies. The DIMEC director at Universidad de Chile, Dr. Williams Calderón, said, "Today's environment makes productive transformation through Advanced Manufacturing obligatory, especially in sectors such as mining, aquaculture, agribusiness and renewable energy. This is a tremendous opportunity to make further progress with these technologies. Our challenge is to articulate and strengthen the link between generated knowledge and the industrial sector".
What is the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Program?
The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Program began at the end of 2018 with a five-year horizon. It will execute a project portfolio aimed at developing technological solutions in Advanced Maintenance and Reliability Systems, Digital Twin Solutions, and Advanced Automation and Robotics.
The benefits associated with this program include non-productive time reduced; maintenance costs and unforeseen failures reduced; operations controlled and optimized in real-time; changes in operations or processes tested and evaluated without negatively affecting production; increased quality and efficiency within the parts recovery process; increased productivity within manufacturing processes; and increased occupational safety.
Migrating to the knowledge economy
ASIMET emphasized the need for Chile to develop, which requires migrating from a primarily exporting economy to a knowledge economy, with greater articulation between industries and lateral linkages, where human capital and technological progress play an increasingly greater role.
The Chairman of ASIMET, Dante Arrigoni, stressed the importance of this program, "This program is fully aligned with ASIMET’s objectives, which is to help Chilean industry improve its productivity and competitiveness and progress the Industrial Revolution 4.0."
There are already several industries around the world that have improved their production systems and made them customizable, scalable and automatable. This has been achieved by applying Industry 4.0, which has resulted in flexible production systems that can adjust to specific requirements. These systems can be quickly installed and customized and their size and cost can be adapted to production requirements.
Therefore, portfolio projects within the IMA+ will aim to offer improvements by developing systems or prototypes that have been successfully tested and certified in live industrial operating conditions; by escalating and marketing the solutions, products and services generated by these portfolio projects; and training an advanced workforce that can be readily recruited into the productive sector, especially in sectors such as mining, aquaculture, agribusiness and renewable energy. Discover more at www.programaima.cl
Further information regarding investment opportunities in Chile can be found in the following article.