Department for Research and Development
Most of the activities of the Metals Centre will be conducted by the Research and Development, namely its two laboratories: Laboratory for Internet of Things (IoT) and the Laboratory for Prototyping.
Laboratory for the Internet of Things (IoT)
Numerous products of the metal industry in northwestern Croatia can be improved by the addition of so-called smart functionality that can increase their added value. Products with no additional smart functionality are being squeezed out of the market or are under increasing pressure to cut production costs. Integration of other wireless modern technologies into machine and manufacturing systems management is one of the most significant trends of today’s industry concept 4.0.
Today, the development of such systems is sporadic for most entrepreneurs in the region or does not happen at all. When used by companies, they usually order finished systems abroad. In fact, there are significant installation and maintenance difficulties, so local production is typically reduced to simpler contract jobs, while a foreign partner creates products by installing intelligent features and adds significant value. The Community for Science and Development can and should make a significant contribution to the development of the intelligent system.
Here are the contours of the fourth industrial revolution, which combines mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and information technology. Communication between machines (M2M), between products and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just some of the trends that must be adopted. The conditions for the development of these areas within the metal center are present.
The founder and his partners are seeking to develop the information and communications sector in the region, and significant progress has already been made The partnership includes the Faculty of organization and computer science Varaždin for which the IoT is one of the areas in which they want to develop. At the Polytechnic Faculty of Meurimurje in Čakovec a computer engineering study is carried out The Meologicalimurje Technological Innovation Center focuses on the incubation and support of IT companies.
Surface Mounting Technology (SMT) was selected during the preparation of the Metals Core Project. For this technology is characteristic that components and their outputs are placed on the same side of the printed circuit board, which is different from older technologies where components were laid through drilled holes and were tinkered on the other side.
Laboratory for prototyping
Entrepreneurs in the metal industry sector in northwestern Croatia face a number of challenges in the process of prototyping, testing and manufacturing small product series. As they mainly produce products for foreign buyers, the biggest advantage of which is the low labor cost compared to the countries where orders come from, entrepreneurs are pushing for independence and launching their own products.
In integrating the intelligent functionality as described above, it is extremely important to develop a high quality prototype that can conquer the market and develop a finished product. Some entrepreneurs have such a small number of very specific products that they can stay in the category of prototypes. In the metal industry, several CNC devices, common 3D printers and precision casting are used for prototyping.
Prototyping is also closely linked to product design. By applying the eco-design principle, 80% of the CO2 savings can be achieved. Research and science can make a significant contribution to the development of new prototyping methods or to integration into product development itself. This approach would significantly increase the development and introduction of new products by significantly reducing the cost of producing a functional prototype. Prototyping could also be done in the casting area, which is an additional benefit as prototypes are very expensive nowadays.
Development and Educational Centre for the Metal Industry – Metal Centre Čakovec
Bana Josipa Jelačića 22 D
40 000 Čakovec
The project was implemented within the framework of the OP "Competitiveness and Cohesion" for the period 2014-2020, under the call " Investing into organizational reform and infrastructure within the sector of research, development and innovation".