An idea that was born on the factory floor
It can be said that the mother of Thermosafety is the production hall, and the father is a team of experienced engineers. During the development of a machine by Unitem Machines, more specifically, a particle board surface planer, we encountered quite an obstacle. It turned out that we were unable to protect the worker while the machine was in operation.
Traditional ways of ensuring safety on the production line significantly hindered the production process, made it impossible or inefficient. Since the boards were placed manually in the machine, we needed a solution that would stop the machine only when a person was in it’s working area. No safety system met our requirements:
- safety mats could have activated a machine stop if a board fell on them;
- fences could have led to an accident involving an operator carrying boards;
- vision, laser and radio systems would detect a moving object, i.e. a man with boards or just the boards appearing in their range, and stop the entire machine.
Thus, all that was left was to create our own dedicated safety system.
The business case
In order not to waste time creating a product that would not be useful in the market, we started by researching market demand and reviewing available solutions. Two in particular caught our attention: Veo Freemove and Inxpect. Unfortunately, although they are technologically advanced, they further fell short of the requirements we had for a particle board surface planer and many other machines of similar concept.
Having the data, we decided to set up a technology project to develop an innovative safety system. After detailed analysis, we decided to use AI and fusion of modalities, including thermal imaging. This is also where the name of the system came from: Thermosafety. We were only one step away from a refined idea to the start of work – we had to build the right team.
Our team of specialists
The requirements of the project were high. Fortunately, we were able to find the right people for the job: experienced and qualified world-class engineers!
Zbigniew Kulas, EngD
Machine learning researcher. Graduate of the Wroclaw University of Technology. Author and co-author of publications in the field of application of machine learning and statistical methods for analysis and classification of medical images. Co-author of three patents.
Marcin Majak, EngD
Computer vision specialist. Graduate of the Wroclaw University of Technology. He also specializes in deep learning algorithms. Author and co-author of dozens of scientific publications, patents and industrial designs.
Wojciech Macherzyński, EngD
Microelectronics engineer. Employee of the Faculty of Electronics, Photonics and Microsystems of the Wroclaw University of Technology. Co-author of more than 90 scientific publications in the field of microelectronics and semiconductor technologies.
Senior computer vision engineer. Experienced embedded systems programmer and electronics engineer. Creator of proprietary solutions in vending machines.
Senior computer vision engineer. Software engineer with many years of experience and a graduate of the University of Wroclaw.
Design work since 2020
Obtaining funding from NCRD (Amount: 10 M PLN)
Creating a pre-production prototype
Production implementation at Unitem Ltd.
Beginning of the certification process
Our future path
Our upcoming plans are to develop the 1.0 version of the Thermosafety system and the architecture for a multiple head – one computing unit arrangement. The finale of our efforts will be certification to PLd Cat. 3, SIL 2. The future of Thermosafety is bright, just like it’s casing. We hope that thanks to our efforts every worker will feel safety during production line operation, not only the one using our particle board surface planer.
We will keep you updated on the progress of our plans in the Newsletter. Therefore, we invite you to subscribe.