FLET4.0 – FLEet managemenT optimization through I4.0 enabled smart maintenance

Last October, 24th 2018, in the Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale (DTA) – Aerospace Technological Cluster – premise, the kick-off meeting of the Italian project FLET4.0 – FLEet managemenT optimization through I4.0 enabled smart maintenance was held.

The project FLET4.0 was promoted by DTA and submitted to the call issued by Minister of Education, University and Research (MIUR), the project is related to the technology field ‘Smart Manufacturing’. It was positively evaluated and accepted for funding.

The FLET4.0 project consortium is lead by DTA who will manage the project and support the technology and solution transfer from research to industrial systems during, and at the conclusion, of the project. The consortium is composed of following industrial and academic partners: AvioAero, Enginsoft, Planetek Italia and Blackshape (members of DTA), EKA and MERMEC; Politecnico di Bari, Università del Salento (members of DTA), and Politecnico di Torino. The scientific and technological lead of the project is Pierpaolo Pontrandolfo, full professor at Politecnico di Bari. In order to realize the project, partners committed a total investment budget higher than 7.5M€ (6.6M€ in Puglia) and will receive a grant of 3.7M€ (3,2M€ in Puglia).

More than 40 persons (professors, researchers, managers and operators) participated in the kick-off meeting launching scientific, technical, administrative and managerial activities of the project; during the meeting, partners’ visions and expectations were shared, expected results were defined and specific action plans were approved.

The FLET4.0 project will contribute in the development of innovation capacities in management of fleet of complex systems such as aero-engines, railway systems and satellites. Such capacities will be mainly deployed in Puglia, where partners are located and where the most part of R&D activities will be realized. The project development strategy, based on the exploitation of Industry4.0 technologies, has the objective to improve the capability to gather accurate knowledge about health and working conditions of the systems (aero-engine, railway systems, satellites) and the capability to orchestrate and optimise necessary maintenance processes and services. A set of digital technologies (artificial intelligence, simulation, virtual and augmented reality, clod system, big data and analytics) will be exploited to recognize and monitor decay of systems’ performances, anomalies and any others unexpected event, to identify and evaluate causes, to esteem remaining life expectation of systems and of their modules. This information will be provided as input to strategic and operational production and inventory management tools in order to plan optimized maintenance services. Virtual and augmented reality technologies will be applied to simplify field operations.

Project activities, competences and results, aligned with national and Apulian Smart Specialization Strategy (SMARTPUGLIA2020), will increase productivity of industrial partners by reducing maintenance service provision costs and by improving quality of the service (so that systems’ end users will benefit of higher availability). Also, sustainability of industrial processes (environmental sustainability included) will be positively affected by project achievements. Through the project, academic partners will contribute in the social and economic growth by exploiting their analysis, design and development capacities to solve real industrial problems, by involving young researchers in project activities and by enriching education courses with new data and information, with a definitive positive impact on employability of students.