The head of the research programme Competitive Engineering is Prof. Jaroslav Beran, MSc, Ph.D. ( jaroslav.beran@tul.cz)

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Information about research programme: competitive engineering and related laboratories

The individual experts of the research team provide long-term support to industry in neighbouring regions through their activities and the instrumentation and laboratory equipment, both by focussing on the development and manufacture of machinery, equipment and vehicles and also by the application of new technologies and technological practices to ensure a high level of innovation in industrial manufacturing. The laboratories focus on the following research areas:

  • The implementation of advanced technologies to the development of production machinery, equipment, vehicles and technological units to ensure the workability of materials, production of components and finished products at high speeds, high reliability and low operating costs. Emphasis will be placed on reducing the energy demands of production and environmental burden.
  • Comprehensive solutions to specific problems of manufacturing aimed at optimizing the properties of machines, equipment and vehicles in interaction with new working processes. The result will be new knowledge used to enhance the performance and durability of machines and equipment while reducing energy consumption, improve the working environment and minimizing noise and vibration and the use of new materials and emerging technologies.
  • The application of new knowledge from the material research conducted during the project in the design of engineering constructions and support of research and development of new machinery and operating lines for the production of linear and three-dimensional nanofibrous units.

Research and development is focused on the areas of manufacturing and automotive industries with good application potential and requires regular communication with the business community to identify the needs of businesses in the given industrial field. Priority is given to the question of safety of engineering structures and last but not least, research and development of propulsion units for machines and vehicles. The research programme Competitive engineering is focused on the following areas of R&D:

  • sophisticated structures of production machines and robots with mechatronic systems,
  • new propulsion units of machinery and vehicles,
  • development and optimization of safe engineering structures,
  • advanced technologies for the processing of technical materials.

The outputs of this activity are planned based on the needs of the application sphere and the existing partnerships with industry. Today they are mainly focused on the areas of mechatronics, robotics, control and use of artificial intelligence, occupational safety and operation of machines and equipment, increasing the life of machinery and equipment, new production processes and technologies, new propulsion systems and units for mobile and stationary equipment etc. Synergy with the research programme Material research, which will also be realized in the framework of the project, can be seen in the application of new nanotechnology to areas of production and processing of materials.

Specific description of research activities, objectives and expected outputs and results:

  • Optimized unconventional structures of machinery, equipment and vehicles with a high level of functional integration of new advanced technologies, particularly in the field of mechatronics, robotics, control and artificial intelligence.
  • Mechatronic structure of basic nodes of textile machines with controlled drives and their own intelligence. Individual and group propulsion systems of working units of textile machines to replace central drives allowing greater diversification of production. New technological lines for production of textiles made from nanofibres and other textile materials.
  • New principles of autonomous mechatronic systems and nodes with their own independent intelligence, equipped with the necessary operational diagnostics. These systems will exhibit greater robustness and reliability while having a lighter and simpler mechanical construction and optimal power consumption.
  • Experimental methods for measuring the friction and adhesion properties of materials of gripping components. Prototypes of adaptive arms with new generation gripping components. Optimized algorithms for advanced image processing and data. Robust software for data analysis and evaluation of the captured scene. Optimized virtual model of service robots, functional samples and prototypes of autonomous platforms and special superstructures including the implementation of a robot vision system with advanced image processing and wireless control.
  • New active and passive vibration isolation systems with a high degree of integration of mechatronic components and their construction applications to protect human health from the harmful effects of noise and vibration and to protect machines and buildings from the effects of dangerous vibrations. New spring struts and damping elements based on new construction materials. Components and systems for reducing noise levels of machines and vehicles with a substantial proportion of nanofibre structures.
  • New hybrid propulsion systems for stationary and mobile equipment minimizing production and operating costs, meeting the future emission limits of Euro 6 and limits on greenhouse gases, with an emphasis on the use of new fuels from renewable sources.
  • New construction of interior and exterior vehicle parts increasing pedestrian and passenger safety during collisions and accidents. Designs and prototypes of special mechatronic devices with an ejection mechanism and impactor for measuring human biomechanical parameters.
  • New theoretical and experimentally verified knowledge contributing to higher application and productivity of existing engineering technologies and to provide future non-conventional technologies using gases, liquids, vacuums, etc. Existing and untraditional innovative technological procedures and processes increasing productivity, product quality and reducing energy consumption involving the development of recycling technologies and reducing environmental burden.
  • Optimized technological processes and methods of machining providing the maximum lifespan and reliability of machine parts. New theoretical and practical knowledge of the impact of machining conditions and environmental factors on the parameters of the integrity of the surface layer. Proven methods of machining a new generation of materials (nanomaterials, geopolymers).
  • New production processes and technology with the application of rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing applying the developed materials with improved mechanical properties and achieving more accurate production of prototypes and involving optimized methods for faster and cheaper production of models, tools and other components. Verified functional model of new equipment for innovative rapid prototyping technology.