University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (UL FME) covers several important research and innovation activities within the S4 project GOSTOP (Building blocks, tools and systems for the Factories of the Future), 2016-2020, funded by the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the European Regional Development Fund, project budget 9.4 million EUR. Smart mechatronic tools and high-efficient production lines with smart platform:
Smart robotic technologies and platform of virtual factory:
UL FME is especially strong in the area of industrial projects and collaboration with Slovenian and international companies such as Yaskawa, Yaskawa Europe, Siemens, Krka, Kolektor, Gorenje, Danfoss, Iskra Mehanizmi, Agromehanika, EcoLab, Riko, Intersocks, Lek, which have been in the phase of implementation of new technologies of I4.0 into their production processes for the last years. Especially the digitalization of the production lines, integration of digital lean, smart automatization and robotics present an important novel approach to upgrade the existing technology level of the entire manufacturing process in the factory of the future.
With new developed digital twin, we planned the entire new robot factory Yaskawa Europe robotics in Kočevje, Slovenia in advance, which is Yaskawa's first factory in Europe, including the entire internal and external logistics chain and all detailed internal logistics production processes. The factory with all the process details was completely designed in a digital environment before building the real factory, which is a remarkable technical achievement that puts us on the world map in this area. This was the first such approach seen in the wider region. The achievements are the result of close cooperation between Yaskawa and UL FME and are distinguished by the direct successful transfer of the latest scientific results into industrial development and innovative production of products that are competitive on the world market. The approach introduced by the proposed group of nominees was taken up by the entire Yaskawa Corporation and, based on the achievements and scientific and professional potential of the group, decided to build a new factory of electric motors for robots in Kočevje, for which a letter of intent has already been signed. The result of successful work presents the Slovenian Puh Prize for outstanding achievements in the field of industrial robotic technology received by Professor Niko Herakovič, member of the UL FME.