Robot Needs to Be Taught to Work Prof. Ing. Robert Čep, Ph.D. earned all his degrees at VŠB - TU Ostrava (VSB - Technical University of Ostrava), in the Faculty of Engineering, in Engineering Technologies. Nowadays he is the Deputy Head of the Department of Machining, Assembly and Engineering Metrology, and Vice-Dean for Personnel, Doctoral Studies and External Workplaces at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. He specializes in materials of machining tools, testing cutting capacity of machining tools, testing machining tools during intermittent cutting, testing the machining of construction materials, calibrating machining tools and additive technologies (3D print). He cooperates with a range of Czech and foreign universities. As part of his job at the university, he publishes expert articles in scientific magazines and conferences and is the author (or co-author) of patents, prototypes, software and certified technologies used by companies not only in our region. He enjoys spending free time with his family (three daughters), often going on trips. The Faculty of Engineering is innovating instruction and is also agile in applied research. What results have those brought, and what do you intend to focus on in the future? New research evaluation methodology (Methodology 17+) makes universities publish their research in prestigious magazines. The Faculty of Engineering of VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava, however, puts a great emphasis on implementation of results of research and development in enterprise, whether it’s patents, utility models, certified technologies, prototype production, semi-industrial installations, and other practical results which help companies reduce costs, increase production, be environmentally-friendly, etc. I believe this is the right way to go because these results are beneficial to society. This is the way of the future. We need to find a good balance between implemented results and publishing activities.
jobs must be replaced with machinery. I see great potential in digital twins, collaborative robots, AI, when the robot learns from an experienced workman while eliminating human errors. At the same time, we need to understand that no machine will replace a qualified workman or an engineer. It is the human who must develop, programme and teach such a robot or machine how to work. 3D printing and additive technologies generally represent the future of production technologies. They are highly prospective modern production technologies used more and more often in various industries. The potential in these technologies is best supported by an increasing share of the market and a boost in the production of construction parts in various industries. Our faculty has the Centre of 3D Print Protolab, which ranks among the largest and best-equipped centres in the Czech Republic. Unlike others, we offer to print ordered parts but we also support the optimization of construction and production, researching material quality and the properties of the produced parts, etc. In this field we are solving a DMS project focused on new technological solutions of 3D-printed metals and composites. This project also involves the Cluster of Additive Production, another three universities and research and development centres including Fraunhofer’s Institute and five leading companies from the Moravian-Silesian Region. Thank you for the interview. -editorial-
Text: redakce Foto: Marek Pagáč www.vsb.cz
Can you give us an example of applied research, and tell us which companies you cooperate with? I am personally engaged in fundamental research, solving a project in theory and experimental research of 3D-printed material. The experimental part focuses on low-cycle fatigue and the hardening of 3D-printed material against crumble. In applied research I cooperate with a range of companies from the Moravian-Silesian Region and the rest of the republic, including the form of grant projects, innovation vouchers for small- and medium companies, or economic agreements with the companies. A good example of such cooperation is the Armatury Group, a.s. Dolní Benešov. We are solving our second collaborative project already. How do you see the robotization of industry and use of 3D printers? Robotization and the general concept of Industry 4.0 undoubtedly have their use. Unfortunately, the number of professionals willing to work in or design production processes is decreasing, therefore some procedures and POSITIV 4/2019 ǀ 25