The UPC organizes the first industry 4.0 ‘showroom’ in Catalonia, aimed at companies

The UPC will exhibit, on December 1, from 9:45 a.m., at the facilities of the CIM UPC Foundation’s pilot plant (carrer de Llorens i Artigas, 12, Barcelona) the most recent advances in industry 4.0 for companies that want to go digital. It is the first ‘showroom’ of solutions, technologies and use cases designed in this area within the Catalan research and innovation ecosystem, and they are the result of the Looming Factory project, coordinated by the UPC.

SMEs, start-ups and large companies in Spain show a digital maturity of 57%, according to different studies. Companies that do not digitize will not be able to enter the new value chain of the industrial fabric.

Looming factory

In this context, Looming Factory, an emerging group coordinated by the research group in Electronic Drives and Industrial Applications (MCIA) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTech (UPC), directed by the teacher Luis Romeral, has focused on designing, among other applications, digital technologies aimed at optimizing production results and reducing energy consumption, as well as time and maintenance tasks.

In particular, the Looming Factory group, made up of nine Catalan research centers and institutes, has focused on improving design and predictive operations, the connection of machines and intelligent automation, reaching 100% capacity of remote control in industrial production, and to improve the interaction between humans and robots. These are some of the challenges achieved in the project, which has just ended and the results of which will be shown to companies on December 1. Driven by the Catalan Government to develop emerging technologies in the field of industry 4.0, with a view to increasing the competitiveness of the economy, the grouping of research centers has applied advances in artificial intelligence and technology information and communications in the industrial sector.


In the UPC showroom, the following developed technological innovations will be deployed and demonstrated in a productive environment:

⮚ A data hub to establish the energy consumption and time cost of manufacturing parts, through data acquisition and analysis, smart applications and sensors. Most machines today do not have a numerical control that can determine these values so necessary for companies. Here’s how companies could upgrade their machinery and digitize their manufacturing processes.

Cobots and artificial vision: the use of machine vision tools, reinforcement learning and a graphical interface allow cobots (in this project, cobots are the union of an AGV mobile vehicle and a robotic arm) to do the loading task -download products (bin picking) intuitively and generally. They do this from parameterizable control blocks, both automatically and through communication with the operator. To improve the interaction between people and collaborative robots, an interaction application for loading and unloading products has been designed using optimized numerical control.

Marketplace: a safe ‘data environment’ to share data with guarantees. It brings to the industry greater integration between supply chain suppliers, third party service providers and end customers; greater modularity and flexibility of processes, based on manufacturing data; and also greater efficiency in processes and optimization of maintenance (cost and time). What is innovative about this environment is that it is based on an open software architecture, which promotes the global digital economy, according to the reference model of the International Data Space Association.

L’estudi i el desenvolupament d’aquestes tecnologies digitals, que ha de remodelar les operacions i produccions de les fàbriques, cap a entorns virtuals, integrant dades, assolint la hibridació ciber-física i la integració al núvol, s’ha dividit en quatre subprojectes: Smart Factory, Connected Factory, Robots on Factory, i Factories of the Future.

The Looming Factory project, part of the R&I strategy for the intelligent specialization of Catalonia (RIS3CAT), has received co-financing of two million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).

At the meeting on December 1, will take part Xavier Aldeguer, director general of the Society of Knowledge, Transfer and Territory of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Joan Romero, executive director of ACCIÓ; Jordi Llorca, vice-rector for Research at the UPC, and José María Cabrera, director of the CIM UPC Foundation.