Engineers’ smart machine wins National Instrument innovation award

Posted on: 12 December 2017

Engineers from Trinity led by Dr Garret O’Donnell and Dr Jeff Morgan have won a National Instruments (NI) Engineering Impact Award in the Advanced Manufacturing category.

The engineers won the award for their work in developing a smart, reconfigurable automated test machine, which has been built to service the demands of “the factory of the future,” and for “the fourth industrial revolution.”

Dr Jeff Morgan and his colleagues at the NI awards ceremony.  

The NI Engineering Impact Awards are handed out based on a technical application contest, which showcases and rewards the most innovative of projects from around the world.

This year, Dr O'Donnell and Dr Morgan unveiled project CIRCLE, an Enterprise Ireland innovation partnership between Trinity and Ceramicx Ltd., at the heart of which is their next-gen machine for the factory of the future.

The machine is reconfigurable, multi-purpose, and open to change. It can be easily disassembled and re-assembled to perform different test operations. As such, the technology focuses on creating collaborative hardware and software to produce ‘smarter machines’.

Some tests it can perform include electrical safety, material property quality, and thermal output analysis.

Research Fellow in Trinity’s School of Engineering, Dr Jeff Morgan, said: “This award demonstrates the power in Irish engineer collaboration, to develop new innovative ideas with skilled Irish manufacturers."

"Our current machine is one of the first commercially ready Industry 4 examples, and we aim to expand on this design for use with commercial electronics and bio-medical products.”

NI empowers engineers and scientists with a software-centric platform that incorporates modular hardware and an expansive ecosystem. This proven approach puts users firmly in control of defining what they need to accelerate their system design within test, measurement and control.


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