Principal investigator: Gamini Mendis

University: The Pennsylvania State University, Behrend

Industry partner: The Plastek Group

Smart manufacturing technologies are predicted to radically improve manufacturing outcomes in the near future. However, development and implementation of smart manufacturing technologies can be challenging and cost prohibitive, especially in the plastics industry. The Plastek Group, a PA-based plastics manufacturing company, and researchers at Penn State Erie intend to partner to create a smart manufacturing system that monitors a plastics injection molding process, collects data in the cloud, analyses the data using advanced analytic techniques (such as Kernel Principal Component Analysis), and signals operator intervention when the process moves out of specified limits. A framework for implementing smart manufacturing technologies on other injection molding machines will be developed, and knowledge from the project will be used to help develop a smart manufacturing testbed at Penn State Erie. The project has the potential to reduce operating costs and scrap rates at injection molding facilities and catalyze the development of smart manufacturing coursework and training programs at Penn State Erie.