The Smart Learning Factory – Skopje is unleashing the future of manufacturing through cutting-edge technology, training, innovation, and experimentation within a scaled production environment.


INFRASTRUCTURE

The Smart Learning Factory – Skopje (SLFS) is a revolutionary educational facility that combines cutting-edge technology and innovative teaching methods to create an immersive learning experience. With its six modules simulating small-scale production environments, this learning factory offers its users a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience regarding Lean and Industry 4.0. The state-of-the-art didactic equipment, purposefully designed for teaching and learning purposes, ensures seamless integration of theory and practice. The factory’s modern and user-friendly design enhances the learning environment, stimulating creativity and engagement. The factory’s modular equipment design allows for swift reconfiguration, facilitating the creation of diverse physical layouts to accommodate various learning objectives. By providing a dynamic and versatile learning space, the SLFS empowers its users to acquire practical skills, foster innovation, and prepare for real-world challenges in an ever-evolving industrial landscape.

To read more about the separate modules available at the Smart Learning Factory – Skopje, click on “Read more” below each module.

➀ Kanban Supermarket

Read more Smart Kanban Supermarket that represents a smart warehouse used to store the necessary components for the assembly. It consists of 24 independent lines with 24 storage boxes for components. The Smart Kanban Supermarket aims to ensure a smooth and timely flow of components for the next module – the Poka Yoke station. Each line of the supermarket contains an optical sensor for the detection of the presence of boxes on the line, as well as for the quantitative display of the number of empty containers placed on the monitor. The entire system works thanks to the integrated computer located inside the operational control panel. All current data about the warehouse is displayed on the monitor.

➂ Working station

Read more The working station is the contemporary working place for assembly and disassembly activities. The design of the working station aligns with the ergonomics and safety standards including lighting, the adaptable height of the desk and chair etc. The working station is also equipped with a computer that includes an application for the measurement of ergonomic-related KPIs. Numerous pneumatic and electrical tools can be attached to aid the assembly process.

➄ 2D Machine Vision

Read more The purpose of the 2D Machine Vision (2DMV) device is to enable advanced visual control (continuous monitoring) of the products, signaling if the product does not meet the required quality. If the product is not good, the system provides a sound signal as well as a visual signal through the Andon device attached to the camera’s construction. The 2D machine vision also comes with software for setting the configuration of the inspected parts and the quality indicators.

⑦ Andon System

Read more Аndon is a system that is developed to alert about an issue on the production line. The primary purpose of Andon is to enable better communication and improve the flow of information between production operators and team leaders to maintenance technicians and engineers in case a production problem. Andon can be raise due to issue with machine/process (maintenance team, quality team) or material issue (warehouse team). Benefits from implementation of Andon system are measuring KPI in production: Mean time to respond and resolve issue, Mean time between failures, Number of opened and closed tickets, Description of issue and corrective action, Total and average breakdown time, Measuring trend for lines breakdown, Escalation on company phones and mails according company escalation matrix Reports can be for lines, machines, workers (production leaders, maintenance technician, engineers). Raising of ticket in Andon system is on touch screen console installed on each production line.

➁ Smart Poka Yoke

Read more Smart Poka Yoke is a concept that combines the principles of Poka Yoke with smart technology to create intelligent process for assembly which prevents errors or defects from occurring during the operators work. This particular Smart Poka Yoke station includes a combination of hardware, sensors and software that guide the operator during the assembly of the selected products. The station is flexible and user-friendly, therefore many different products can be embedded in a fairly easy and quick teaching mode.The main part of the construction is the middle part which consists of six slots for boxes for product parts equipped with rollers. Each box should contain the needed parts for the wanted product. Each box slot is also equipped with different hardware that is the carrier of the Poka Yoke concept: button, counter, door and light signal.

➃ Transporter

Read more The transporter can transport products (assemblies) from the workstation to the robot station. In the initial configuration, 2D machine vision is located above the transporter and it performs quality control according to the pre-set parameters regarding the product quality. One of the components integrated into the transporter is a frequency regulator that is used to regulate and control the speed of the transporter. In addition, on the upper part of the transporter, an encoder registers and sends data on to the computer which must be synchronized with the characteristics of the 2D machine vision module.

➅ Robot Station

Read more SCARA robot station represents a robot station with an industrial Mitsubishi Electric Scara robot type RH-3CRH401-8-D-S15. The robot is located in a space made of aluminum construction and plexiglass which allows good visibility of its work as well as safety for the user. There are two doors (front and back) through which it is possible to access the space inside the station. Both doors are equipped with safety switches.

⑧ Energy Management

Read more Innovative and pragmatic approach to energy management via implementation of Energy Monitoring and Management Systems. The sollution offers customized solutions across various industries, featuring advanced hardware like smart sensors for diverse measurements, a robust cloud-based IoT software platform for data handling, seamless integration services, full automation of data processes, and extensive analytical services. These components collectively enhance efficiency, optimize energy usage, and support sustainable practices in industrial facilities.

PRODUCTS

One of the advantages of the Smart Learning Factory – Skopje (SLFS) lies in its didactic nature, allowing for seamless integration of real-world product simulation. The SLFS is specifically designed to accommodate didactic products, which are simplified versions of real products tailored to enhance the learning process. This unique feature enables students and users to gain practical experience while grasping the fundamental concepts of product development.

The flexibility and modularity of the SLFS equipment take learning to new heights. With its adaptability, the SLFS can easily be reconfigured to cater to different product requirements, empowering users to explore and test their innovative ideas in a safe and controlled environment. The close connection between SLFS and FabLab Skopje offers an added advantage, providing users with the opportunity to swiftly prototype and bring their ideas to life.

By bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, the SLFS empowers learners to unlock their creativity, foster innovation, and gain valuable insights into the product development process. Step into a world of limitless possibilities and immerse yourself in the transformative learning experience offered by the Smart Learning Factory – Skopje.

LEARNING GAMES

FunFactory is a Lean production game developed by the students Metodi Kovacevski, Andrej Kuzmanovski, David Taleski, Aleksandar Neveselov and mentored by Bojan Jovanoski. This is a result of a joint project between the students, the industry and the faculty members.

The idea was to transfer the knowledge gained during the studies at the Industrial Engineering and Management study program to their colleagues from the other study programs. The game was introduced as a competition among 4 teams with 5 members each. A series of guides and templates were designed to successfully run the game. This helped all participants to better understand the process. The simulated production process had 3 rounds, 20 minutes each. Between each round, a presentation from the organizers was given with the key Lean concepts and a digital dashboard was generated with the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the process – for each team accordingly and with comparison to the other teams. After each round, the teams analyzed their performance in terms of productivity and suggested improvements that were implemented before the beginning of the next round.

The benefit from the learning process is presented and led to increased performance of some indicators by multiple times. The results from the projects were achieved and the students realized that managing a production process is more complex than it looks. The plan is to introduce the game to students in the future, as well as to companies that will embrace the new way of thinking and educating their employees.

SLFS ECOSYSTEM @ Faculty of Mechanical Engineering – Skopje

The Smart Learning Factory – Skopje is an integral part of the brand new network of laboratories at the esteemed University Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje, North Macedonia. This network comprises renowned facilities such as Fablab Skopje, IDEA Lab, and The Center for Excellence in Green Innovation, forming a cohesive ecosystem of innovation, research, and education.

FabLab Skopje is the digital fabrication laboratory located at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. FabLab Skopje is a manufacturing laboratory, a place to explore, research, learn, and manufacture personal or professional projects. This service is offered to all audiences of all ages, regardless of the degree of mastery of digital manufacturing tools. Members have access to tools, machines, workshops and can come and exchange knowledge, practices, and projects with each other and with the facilitators. The laboratory so far is equipped with CNC (CO2) Laser with rotating axis, 3D Printer for FDA, 3D Printer for SLA technology, Post-processing of parts, CNC Router for large part, CNC Router for precise manufacturing, Mechatronics equipment, training facility.

More info at www.fablab.mk, or @fablabskopje on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.


IDEA Lab (I – industrial D – design E – ergonomy and A -application Lab) is part of CIRKO through which activities in the field of industrial product design are realized.

With highly skilled staff, workshops and equipment, IDEA Lab offers educational and application services for industry, companies and individuals in the field of industrial and engineering design, ergonomic analysis and expertise, prototyping, digital presentation and animation, as well as education in the field of modern engineering. and design software.

More info at www.idealab.mf.edu.mk.


The Center for Excellence in Green Innovation aims to enable appropriate management of knowledge, resources and the infrastructure of all stakeholders and to contribute to regional economic growth through the promotion of ecological and sustainable innovative processes enabled by VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (VET). It is beeing developed through the GreenoVET project, consisting of 18 European partners.

More info at www.cizi.mk.