Last week, on 12th October, the Oulu – Kent webinar took place again. We have been collaborating with the city of Kent, Ohio for several years by now, and this was certainly not the first nor the last event that we’ll organize together. We’d like to extend a special thanks to Donald Davis from Kent Displays, Inc. for organizing these events with us. There are plans to meet him and his company in person to tighten the ties even more!
The topic this time was industry 4.0, which gives plenty of space for a wide variety of approaches. We welcomed IT companies from both cities who gave a talk on their products and services. Our guests from Oulu were Probot, Finwe and Arctic Drones Labs, and our guests from Kent, Ohio were MK Morse, the EMDiS Center from the Cleveland State University, and Kent Displays, Inc.
The Oulu-based companies
Probot’s representative was Matti Tikanmäki. As the company’s name implies, they create robots, which are often custom-built according to the customer’s wishes. These robots can do anything from packing fish to putting UV glue on electronics, and since many existing robots are getting older, many customers turn to Probot to have those replaced.
Finwe’s presentation was given by Juha Kela, and he explained about their machine vision projects. This technology can help in complicated environments, where human error can have great consequences. It also contributes to the ability to keep an eye on things in hard-to-read locations, and it notifies you if things don’t seem right.
The last Finnish presentation was given by Jussi Kangasoja from the Arctic Drone Labs of OAMK. He enlightened us on the abilities of a wide variety of drones, and their ability to do measurements in difficult locations. They are also useful in 3D-mapping areas with great accuracy.
The Ohio-based companies
The honor was now to the Americans, with Dr. Sekhar Rakurty kicking off on behalf of MK Morse. They make bandsaw blades, which can be used for the manufacturing of a very wide range of products. They were looking for a solution that could improve their production process and reduce production defects even more. Already during the presentation, Finwe decided to step in and offer their expert knowledge.
Matt Duplin represented the EMDiS Center from the Cleveland State University. Their program supports small and medium size manufacturers in Northeast Ohio. The projects they are working on are of a wide variety, from automated welding to actual flying cars being developed, and education for undergraduates.
Last but not least was Donald Davis’ colleague, Adam Michaels from Kent Displays. They work on a wide variety of things, though they originally started with data. They have since shifted their focus from just reacting to the data they found to creating predictive models with said data. They also work with digital inspection, where an automated inspection system knows exactly where everything is located, and if it looks and works like it should. This greatly improves defect detection.
The webinar was a great success, and collaborations started forming even before the event was over. We are looking forward to seeing what other collaborations will form, and the results of that. Until the next Oulu – Kent webinar!
Text by Arjane Kerkhoven
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