Category Archives: funding

IMaR awarded funding for R&D equipment

The IMaR Research Centre at IT Tralee has been awarded funding by Enterprise Ireland for a significant investment into cutting-edge equipment for R&D in advanced manufacturing. This new equipment will be made available to Irish manufacturing companies to test and trial new technologies in manufacturing via the IMaR Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway, IMaR’s outward facing industrial engagement division, based at IT Tralee.

In total, there were 43 successful applicants from the Institutes of Technology (IoT) and TU Dublin to the value of €6 million, of which IMaR have received 4 separate awards. The four funding awards include:

  • A fleet of autonomous industrial vehicles
  • A suite of industrial machinery monitoring equipment
  • An industrial wireless communication technology testbed
  • A high-performance industrial data-analytics server.

The development of the facility will allow IMaR to showcase current advancements in machine connectivity, industrial wireless communication and process automation and optimisation, along with providing a trialling space for new technologies under development by the IMaR Research Centre and partner companies.

Commenting on the funding announcement, Dr. Daniel Riordan, Manager of IMaR Technology Gateway and Director for Industrial Engagement said, “A key component of IMaR’s success in this funding call was its strong track record in industry engagement, specifically meeting the needs of the Irish Manufacturing sector. Funding for this testbed will allow Irish manufacturing to remain at the cutting edge of manufacturing efficiency, quality and profitability as the sector continues to implement the concepts of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things.”

Within IMaR this equipment will be combined to create an advanced manufacturing technology testbed, focusing on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which will open to Irish industry for the evaluation of system capabilities or to work collaboratively with the IMaR Research Centre on the research and development of new automation, robotics, machine monitoring and Data Analytics technologies.

Dr. Pat Doody, Joint Principal Investigator and Director of Advanced Studies of IMaR said “The award of this funding from Enterprise Ireland further confirms IMaR’s place as the primary research centre in Ireland for applied research into the Industrial Internet of Things. The funding will facilitate IMaR in providing state of the art technologies which will be made available to our current industry partners and will also be instrumental in attracting further companies to avail of the expertise offered by IMaR. This testbed will ensure that our partners continue to compete at the cutting edge.”

IMaR IT Tralee with Industry Partners secure 1/2 million of funding

IMaR, The Intelligent Mechatronics & RFID Technology Gateway at IT Tralee, in collaboration with Kostal Ireland in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick and Astellas Ireland, in Killorglin, Co. Kerry have secured just under 1/2 million euro in research funding for two projects under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Program.

Kostal Ireland, employing in excess of 800 people, was established in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick in 1981, opening a second facility in Mallow, Co. Cork in 2001. Kostal Ireland manufactures automotive electronic systems and a range of technologies for end users.

While completing an Innovation feasibility conducted by IMaR researchers for Kostal, a need for the semi- automation of complex tasks within the production line was recognised. The proposed project has secured funding from Enterprise Ireland for the research and development of an innovative flexible robotic system, capable of integrating into the current manufacturing process of an automotive manufacturing plant such as Kostal Ireland with a minimum of set up time and training.

‘While this project will undertake the research, design and development for collaborative robotic systems within the field of automotive component manufacture, the research will begin by investigating the assembly processes for E-Car charging systems,’ explained Dr. Daniel Riordan, Centre Manager at IMaR IT Tralee.

Industry partner Astellas Ireland Co. Ltd provides 324 highly skilled jobs in its facility in Killorglin, Co. Kerry. Established in 1990 to manufacture, package and supply a range of treatments globally, Astellas Ireland is committed to R&D investing 1/5 of its annual sales to innovation.

This Killorglin operation in partnership with IMaR has secured funding to implement an innovative IoT based waste management system incorporating RFID to facilitate environmental monitoring and the consolidation of different pharmaceutical waste. This will fully satisfy legislative and regulatory requirements. The overall plan will comprise of two phases, firstly streamlining the waste tracking and recording processes by using a hardware solution to capture records automatically. These records will then be stored electronically with the option of retrieving data on demand.

Mr. Andrew Shields, Project Investigator describes the second phase: ‘It would provide innovation by creating a data warehouse with data portal and business decision support systems. This would allow analytical techniques to be applied to further increase efficiencies for example by analysing data to forecast waste creation hot spots, patterns and trends and refining production processes to negate wastage.’

“When Astellas contacted IMaR with the issue of tracking the Hazardous waste onsite, we found their approach to the issue very analytical and we are very satisfied with the high professional standard and valuable support provided during the project. We feel that the reliability, dedication, and partnership that IMaR personnel have shown during this project is a credit to the institute,’’ explains Mr. Eamonn Foley, on behalf of Astellas Ireland Co. Ltd.

These projects are a measure of the capabilities within IMaR Technology Gateway at IT Tralee demonstrating how innovative research can benefit Irish industry partners in the development of products and services and overall Irish economic growth.