Innovation Exchange challenge: Systems to measure and understand power usage at machine level

Toyota would like to be able to monitor their equipment at a very local level to get an understanding of how much energy is being used and when.

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Toyota run a lot of high value machinery which uses a significant amount of energy in their operation. They would like to be able to monitor the equipment at a very local level to get an understanding of how much energy is being used and when. The manufacturing plant would then need a version of AI/machine learning to look at the data and give an analysis of the energy use and best practices for the energy consumed. Toyota can then better manage their usage and optimise the machinery. This energy data may also be used with AI/machine learning to identify if something has changed in the process and address problems earlier before becoming a major barrier to production.

Machines to be monitored may include:

  • Furnaces
  • Manufacturing machinery including lathes, machining centres and grinding.
  • Hand tools used for assembly of the range of Toyota engines; some tools are mains connected.
  • Production lines which transport goods, products and finished items around the buildings.

It is desirable to have the least disruption possible within the installation; any systems that reduce wiring and data cables would be looked on more favourably.

AI would need to be able to view and break down the performance of as many machines as possible, and distil information which would optimise the use of machinery and reduce the energy consumed.

Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch to Toyota. The package may also include:

  • Support from Innovate UK KTN.
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot.
  • Technical support.
  • Invitation to attend or present at Innovate UK KTN events.
  • A potential business collaboration.
  • Investor introductions (if investment is required).
  • Support if any Innovate UK or similar competitions are relevant
  • Networking to other solution providers and users of Power Electronics Machines and Drives via the Driving the Electric Revolution challenge.

Entrants to this competition are expected to be established businesses, test houses, academic institutions, startups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs, who are UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base.


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