TPV AUTOMOTIVE receives one gold and four silver awards for innovation

On 9 September, 2020, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dolenjska and Bela krajina  conferred awards for the best innovations in the Dolenjska and Bela krajina region in 2020.

The awards committee consisting of seven members awarded five TPV AUTOMOTIVE innovations in total, one gold and four silver.

  • Gold was awarded for »Universal robot »BIN PICKING« cell« to Boštjan Piletič, Jože Pezdirc, Dario Novak, Miroslav Kuharič, Alen Černelč, Boris Antolovič, Jernej Knežič, Matjaž Sotler, mag. Igor Lekše, Mišo Pereško, Srečko Basarac of TPV AUTOMOTIVE d.o.o. and dr. Mario Žganec, dr. Aleš Mihelič, dr. Stanislav Gruden, dr. Boštjan Vesnicer, dr. Žiga Golob, dr. Jaka Kravanja, dr. Jerneja Žganec Gros of ALPINEON, d. o. o.

Description of the innovation:

The innovation is a complete novelty in the global market. We have developed and produced a universal bin picking cell capable of recognizing and picking 3D objects of complex shapes in a packaging unit. The modular concept of the robot cell makes it easy to integrate into various systems. Due to the easy 3D model import of new objects into the program, the users can independently adjust the cell to their needs. The cell can be applied in most industries faced with the problem of moving pieces from scattered to oriented. The cell is also useful for integration in applications where the operator position is non-ergonomic. For testing purposes, the company has integrated the first cell into a production line for welding seat components.

  • Silver was awarded for »Geometry optimization of reinforcement triangle with regards to process manufacturability« to Simon Miklič,  mag. Vili Malnarič, Miha Končar, Marko Malnarič, Stane Nemanič, Ines Rajkovič and dr. Tomaž Savšek.

Description of the innovation:

The innovation develops geometry optimization of reinforcement triangle, which protects the battery of an electric vehicle against mechanical damage. The diploma thesis was created in cooperation between the Faculty and a company that is a development supplier in the automotive industry. In the thesis, we successfully reduced the mass of the product compared to the reference product and developed a technologically and cost-effective product. The innovative product has been validated by the end customer and is being produced in a large-scale production. The newly acquired knowledge also helps carry out similar projects in the company.

  • Silver was awarded for »Innovative shape of bushing for prevention of bushing – tube separation and assuring drainage of surface protection fluids during the coating process« to Mitja Glavan, Jurij Kuretič, Silvester Urek and Franc Bevc.

Description of the innovation:

One of the leading car manufacturers approached TPV AUTOMOTIVE and SiEVA group with a problem concerning bushing insertion into a car hood mounting component. Due to exposure of the assembly, it was necessary to provide an adequate surface protection to achieve the desired product lifespan. The manufacturer also faced problems with bushing fixation in the assembly. Potential changes of the whole assembly concept would result in project delays, delays in start of production and cost increase. A group of innovators has developed a completely new form of bushing that effectively solves the problem of bushing fixation and at the same time ensured a complete surface protection of the assembly, increasing product lifespan and reducing cost.

  • Silver was awarded for »Robotization of palletization on automated transfer line with scanning system« to Mišo Pereško, Igor Lekše, Veljko Goleš, Andrej Kirm, Domen Murn and Črt Bučar.

Description of the innovation:

The innovation replaces a worker with a robot in repeated operations of loading and removing products from welding tools. A worker has restrictions on repetitive movements, so errors in production may occur. By robotizing the line, we relieve the operator, prevent the possibility of errors and increase the frequency of products. The current system and experience can be transferred to other jobs with repetitive movements and a large number of operations. This way we are one step closer to TPV AUTOMOTIVE’s vision which strives for Industry 4.0 and competitiveness increase in the market.

  • Silver was awarded for »Innovation platform TPV Innovation Station« to Stefan Cvijanović, Krunoslav Šimrak, Amira Cvijanović, Davor Tramte, Petra Sajtl, David Škarja, Anja Čampa and Nika Testen.

Description of the innovation:

In order to encourage innovation and development of new products and processes, TPV AUTOMOTIVE launched an innovation platform called TPV Innovation Station. The aim of the platform is to help individuals and start-ups achieve their goals. We provide them with extensive experience, cutting-edge equipment, financial resources and an innovative environment where we have been generating and developing innovations for many years. We also use the platform to announce prize challenges inviting external partakers and TPV AUTOMOTIVE employees to participate with their own innovative solutions.

LAUNCH OF MOTULII

On 2 July, we took part in the public launch of Motulii at the premises of Podjetniški inkubator Bela krajina. Motulii is a lift platform that enables a fast 3 metre lift of vehicles weighing up to 2.5 tons. This is a great way to put your product in the limelight and attract potential buyers. We could say that Motulii is an interactive billboard.

TPV AUTOMOTIVE supports innovators and good ideas, so we wish the creative mind behind Motulii and Podjetniški inkubator Bela krajina best of luck with their product.

WE HAVE 2 BRAND NEW CHALLENGES FOR YOU!

Hello Innovators,

We have posted two brand new challenges for you. You can participate now and send us your applications.

We will reward the best one!

Check out our challenges on the links below:

Damage detection on structural components

E-Truck improvements

NEW NAME for the NEW DRIVE

TPV d.o.o. has a new name! As a development supplier on the global automotive market, we develop and manufacture products that have a significant impact on vehicle dynamics, safety, ecology and driving comfort, as well as implementing new technology solutions in electric vehicles (EV). With our new mission and vision »Creating mobility of the future« in mind and extensive experience on the automotive market, our focus is shifting into 4 core areas:
• Development & Engineering Services
• E-mobility Aluminum Components
• Lightweight Steel Components
• Surface Protection


New programmes call for company name change to establish a clear relation to its core business. TPV trženje in proizvodnja opreme vozil d.o.o. changed its business name to TPV AUTOMOTIVE, Tovarna avtomobilskih komponent d.o.o., shortened to TPV AUTOMOTIVE d.o.o. The change came into effect on 4 June, 2020. The company TPV AUTOMOTIVE d.o.o. has become an universal legal successor to the company TPV d.o.o. There have been no changes in management or any other additional changes.
As pointed out by Dr. Ivan Erenda , CEO of TPV AUTOMOTIVE d.o.o., »changes go hand in hand with our current business direction and breathe new life into the company to create mobility of the future even more efficiently”.

Interview with Dr. Myriam Jahn

At 7th TPV Innovation Day, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Myriam Jahn, CEO at Q-loud and one of the leading IoT experts. Read on to learn more about her view on the industry 4.0.

 

interview with dr Myriam Jahn, TPV day of innovation

You are one of the key experts in the industry 4.0 with a lot of experience in IoT. How did you become interested in this field? Has technology always been your thing?

Yes, it has. My father had a sawmill, a very small one with 10 employees. As a small child I was playing around the machines that my father had constructed all by himself. The industry 4.0 was my field before the term was even invented. What happened? First, I studied information technology and after getting a scholarship I switched to business administration. I’ve always been a little bit sad to have given up information technology studies. My PhD was something between business administration and information technology. I worked for an automation technology company for 15 years and during that period I obtained the title Master of Science in electrical engineering. So, my expertise is information technology, business administration and electrical engineering.

How did you start with IoT?

I always wondered, if there are so many sensors in the machinery, why don’t we obtain data from machines in order to help with production planning, manufacturing execution systems and consequently help us understand what happens on the shopfloor? In 2012, the term industry 4.0 came up and I thought that was the exact answer to my question. That was the starting point for me. It started with a vibration sensor that wasn’t necessary for the machine as it was only a condition monitoring sensor. The trouble was we couldn’t sell the sensor. There were two reasons: first, it wasn’t mandatory for the machine, and second, the maintenance people at the production site said they didn’t want lights blinking green and red, they just wanted data on the computer monitor. That was a nice wish, but it cost a lot of money. At the time, the connection to the monitor cost 25,000 € and the sensor was only 250 €, so it was a big issue to integrate it in to ERP or MES. The same issue was with 6.5 € inductive sensor where the connection and integration also cost from 25,000 € up. We noticed that MES was the meeting point and decided to buy MES software support to gain the knowledge to sell this vibration sensor. Then industry 4.0 came and everyone was in awe how we had managed to do that. It was then we started to sell software. We had a successful start, because we sold parametrisation software. We had previously sold hardware with free software, but then we had to start charging extra for the software. The margins were high and we were successful with the sale. The company has been doing very well and has now over 300 employees, but for me it wasn’t a challenge anymore. The biggest challenge I saw was to get the companies to implement cloud. So, I started with QSC, the mother company of Q-loud, that was in a line of business interesting for cloud integration. That was the starting point of Q-loud.

What would you say are the benefits of IoT for manufacturing companies?

There is a discussion going on whether digitalization replaces a lot of people. I don’t believe that. I believe that collaboration with the robots gets easier and that people on the shopfloor can make the decisions by themselves with digitalisation. This is actually more of a threat to the management than it is to the shopfloor. There is proof that productivity of the management will go up because if you get the collaboration right, there is no need for such a number of managers. In the end, the biggest benefit will be an increase in productivity.

Should the implementation of IoT be one of the first priorities for the company and if so, why?

For smart factories and industry 4.0, I think it’s crucial to get all the software on cloud. A cloud-based software should be one of the priorities, followed by application of artificial intelligence (A. I.). A.I. is all about learning, and learning means you need some time to learn. Time is crucial so the companies that implement it first have an advantage. For a company like TPV, where core competence is manufacturing and development, the key priority is also crucial to get all the data out of the machines, which isn’t easy as they have different output data. You need to bypass the PLC and have storage on the machine. You should have the possibility to change algorithms and get the most of the data.

Does IoT present new risks and possible issues?

Starting with the cloud, the data ownership is still not really defined as there is no such thing as a legal data ownership. This means that if you store information in a data center, the data center is officially allowed to take your data and use it. The data centers are secure, but legally they own the data because by current law: who stores it owns it. For this reason, you need to address this with contracts. Then we come to the issue of A.I. If you use an open source A.I. and don’t take care of that with your contract, then they also own the A.I. If you have a product like AGV (automated guided vehicle) and you have digitized connection to the cloud, then it is also crucial to have a certain portability with the cloud, so you can migrate at any moment if necessary and they can’t lock you in.

How is the data processed and how much maintenance is needed?

First of all, you shouldn’t store all the data in the cloud, because it’s too expensive and there’s too much data. What you should do is pre-process the data at the site or preferably on the machine. It’s crucial that whatever is on the machine should be in total access of the cloud. This way you get only the crucial data into the cloud. I can give you an example why you should have processing on the machine. You might be familiar with the fatal accident of the uber autonomous car. The uber car driver didn’t pay attention, but the car detected a woman with a bicycle and a bag. At that point, the car couldn’t decide whether it was a human or a bag. The core A.I. was stored in the cloud and the car had only algorithms. The car couldn’t make a decision and asked the cloud what to do. It took 6 seconds to get the data across from the car to the cloud, which was too long. The point is A.I. should be in the car and you should be able to upgrade the A.I. in the car from the cloud. The decision-making part of the A.I. should also be in the car.

What is your experience with companies that have implemented IoT? Can you provide examples of good practice?

The cloud approach is used by Techem, a big supplier of heating monitoring. In apartments for rent, you need to monitor who is using how much energy for heating. They have about 2 million devices in the apartments, all in the cloud, because you have to have all the data distributed. The cloud is done by us (Q-loud). They will also implement more intelligence on their devices and we will be a part of that. We have a lot of construction companies with precision tools which have installed beacons in tools in order to receive the information whether it is on or off and where it’s located.

In what way could a company like TPV make use of IoT?

Firstly, I’m very impressed with TPV. I got the impression that there is a can-do mentality which companies often lack. The leap that you have already made from manufacturing mechanical parts to AGV is huge and incredible. You are a perfect example of all the benefits. There are a lot of synergies between R&D, manufacturing, and developing digitized products, which is essential for a smart factory. You could benefit by digitising the AGV a little bit more. Connecting the machines to the cloud will be the next challenge.

How can we change the mentality of people and prepare them for work in smart factories?

I think that is the easy part if you give people transparency on what their machine is doing. Normally, the workers are a team with their machine and you need to give them transparency what happens with their machine. That way, they can decide what steps to take next.

I can give you an example from the shopfloor. I made a presentation for machine tool builders and told them it shouldn’t take more than 6 months to learn how to handle their machines. They laughed at the time. They aren’t laughing anymore, because the machines should be easy to handle and the user interface should be fun and easy to learn. This is a key factor for people to accept it. Working with the machine should be fun just like applications on our phones.

7th TPV INNOVATION DAY

At the 7th TPV Innovation Day, where TPV Group every year presents its challenges and achievements, and points out the trends and novelties in the field of innovations, the guiding thread was the smart factories of the future. On this occasion, TPV presented five modules for smart factories which are the result of their own development and as of today, they are also offered to the market.

Innovations are a driving force behind the progress, which they are very well aware of in TPV and therefore promote the innovation culture in many different ways, the Innovation Day being one of them. In his introductory words, Marko Gorjup, MSc, President – CEO of TPV Group, he emphasized that »in addition to the innovativeness, the efficient use of technology advances is of exceptional importance.« TPV Group early recognized the fourth wave of the industrial revolution and has already ridden it to the full. Numerous experience gained over the thirty years of their existence has been upgraded with the knowledge and skills of the latest technology. This is how the new solutions are born under the hands of its outstanding engineers. At today’s event, they proudly presented five modules for the smart factories developed by joining their own competencies and by cooperating with external partners. It is about comprehensive solutions that will not only strengthen their competitiveness but will also be offered to the market.

The fact that smart factories are a necessity and not an illusion was also confirmed by Dr. Myriam Jahn,  CEO at Q-loud and one of the leading IoT experts. A debate on the importance of Industry 4.0 and 5.0 followed at the round table and points of view were also exchanged by Alexander Engels, Ph.D., CEO at aiXbrain and prof. dr. Niko Herakovič, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana.

The event’s participants could feel a living touch of what the future holds when taken into a virtual setting of a smart factory within the framework of a presentation of TPV’s five comprehensive solutions for the factories of the future which are already being produced under the innovative hands of TPV’s engineer teams.

The Innovation Day is not the only day dedicated to the innovations as every single working day is an inspiration to innovations. »I am proud to say that we have managed to create such a high level of innovation culture which last year resulted in almost 13 innovative proposals submitted a day by our employees,” stressed Marko Gorjup and added that “we have implemented ten breakthrough improvements and received eight innovation awards, the national silver innovation award among others.”

 

Every year the Innovation Committee selects the most impressive innovative proposal submitted by an individual and a team and grants them a special recognition. At the ceremony, Mr Marko Gorjup and Ivan Erenda, Ph.D., CEO at TPV d. o. o., granted recognitions and awards for the best innovative proposals. The most valuable innovative proposal was the BMW ALU Calibration Machine by the innovator Matija Požgaj. The award for the best team innovation was conferred to   Boštjan Piletič, Srečko Basarac, Dario Novak, Miroslav Kuharič, Alen Černelč, Boris Antolovič, Jernej Knežič, Matjaž Sotler, Igor Lekše, Mišo Pereško, Jože Pezdirc for the Universal Robotic »BIN PICKING« Cell. Both innovative proposals are in line with the company’s strategic guidelines and support its mission and vision.

In addition to the innovations and as part of their strategic guidelines the company also promotes further education of the employees. Recognitions were granted by Mr Marko Gorjup and Ms Martina Brec, HR Director, to all employees who finished their education in 2019: Jože Blažinč, Marko Udovč, Andrej Zorko, Ivan Radman, Gregor Žagar, Marko Krevs, Domen Škufca, Robert Strahinić, Jurij Kuretič, Mitja Glavan and Rok Turk.

An increase in the employees knowledge by learning, researching and exchanging knowledge enhances the competencies of the individuals and the company. With a view to encouraging such activities TPV has been for many years announcing the call for the Martin Sever Award for the best research thesis, graduate thesis, master thesis, doctoral dissertations, paper thesis and articles relating to the themes of the call. The award was conferred to Mitja Glavan for the best master thesis: Treatment of the riveted welds in the numerical strength analyses (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana).

 

In TPV Group they are very aware that the young are the greatest source of innovation and creativity. Therefore, they are connecting with the young from the local environment through numerous activities and so help create a better tomorrow. Given that, the event was spiced up by a young percussion band MUVARUVAGRUVA from the Music School of Marjan Kozina, Novo mesto under the conductor Miro Tomšič, who performed on the TPV products – car body, chassis and car seat parts that are essential parts of each vehicle, but for this special event they have been given a new, an artistic dimension.

 

 

 

 

ABOUT TPV GROUP:
TPV Group is one of the leading development suppliers operating on the global market of automotive industry. Their core activity, whose main driver is the company TPV d.o.o., is development and production of different components for automotive industry, such as body and chassis assemblies, car seat components and parts, and engine gaskets. Moreover, they develop and provide comprehensive solutions for production logistics management, where the automated guided vehicles, which are result of their own development, are one of the key products. The company is located in five sites in Slovenia– Novo mesto, Brežice, Suhor, Velika Loka and Ptuj – and one site in Kragujevac, Serbia. Due to the needs of customers, they intend to extend their production processes to new markets in the following years.
They are globally recognized as a development and pre-development supplier in the automotive industry. Their development services are purchased by most demanding OEMs for their premium brands like BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover, Renault etc. TPV develops products which have a significant impact on the driving dynamics, safety, ecology and driving comfort.
The TPV Group is besides TPV d.o.o. composed of TPV Prikolice d.o.o., TPV Avto d.o.o. and TPV Šumadija d.o.o., extending their field of operation to sales of new and used cars, program of comprehensive services for car users and program of light car trailers. The latter are developed and produced jointly with the German partner Böckmann. TPV is also one of the partners in the development company called SiEVA, who develops technological competencies and takes part in various research projects.

30 years of the TPV Group

At the solemn ceremony held in Kulturni center Janez Trdina in Novo mesto, where the speaker of honour was Zdravko Počivalšek, the Minister for Economic Development and Technology, the TPV Group celebrated its 30th anniversary of existence.

Over the last thirty years, TPV has grown from a company to a group which today is an important player in the global market of the automotive industry. They sell their products on 4 continents and in 26 countries of the world. With about 1.200 employees, they are located in five sites in Slovenia, they also have a production site in Serbia, and in the coming years they are going to expand their production facilities to the new markets. Year after year, they have been promoting innovations and therefore connecting themselves into development partnerships with other companies and institutions of knowledge. Today they develop products installed in the most high-end vehicles and premium car brands using the most advanced materials and breakthrough technologies of their own development, enclosed in the so called factory of the future. This makes them one of the most distinguished players in the trend of Industry 4.0. In partnership with Böckmann, they are one of the leading and most innovative manufacturers of light car trailers in Europe, and they also have one of the biggest car dealership and service centre in Slovenia.

At yesterday’s ceremony, the guests were first addressed by Mr Marko Gorjup, President – CEO of TPV GROUP, who pointed out that on the 30 year long successful journey TPV has grown from a supplier to a globally recognized development and even pre-development supplier, so their big responsibility now is to continue to develop, enhance and build an even stronger TPV Group. At the end of his speech he especially thanked Mr Vladimir Gregor Bahč, the long-standing Board President and today’s Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TPV GROUP for his determination, courage and a clear vision he demonstrated to take the TPV Group, over the 30 years of operations, to the very top of the automotive industry, in recognition for which he conferred the award of honour on him.

Then Mr Vladimir Gregor Bahč shared his memories with all gathered of the thorny path they walked through in the early years. He said how proud he is of his colleagues and partners who stayed by his side, because »in such bad conditions for doing business, sometimes on the very edge of survival, not even the boldest would have dared to dream that our 30 year old story could have such a happy outcome as that which we are witnessing today.”
The speaker of honour, the Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Mr Zdravko Počivalšek, commended the development and associating orientation of the TPV Group and announced that within the Investment Promotion Act the Ministry of the Economy has approved a support to the comprehensive investment of TPV in the territory of the municipality of Brežice. The total amount of the investment is 49 million €, of which the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology will grant 6,5 million € according to the Investment Promotion Act. The investment will create 50 new jobs, of which at least 20 highly qualified jobs, and therefore represents an excellent opportunity for the development of this border region.

In the name of the Municipality of Novo mesto, Gregor Macedoni, the Mayor of the City, also congratulated the TPV Group on its anniversary and pointed out that whenever he represents the city of Novo mesto at home and abroad, he »is repeatedly confirmed that TPV is, with its quality products, innovations and reliability, an internationally recognized partner of many reputable companies worldwide.”

 

 

Tomaž Kordiš, the Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dolenjska and Bela Krajina, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of TPV Group, conferred a special recognition of the GZDBK for its contribution to the economic development of the region, for its export-based operations and for its global performance in the industry.

Among numerous activities the TPV Group has been performing during the jubilee year, they did not forget their social responsibility. In the spirit of their vision »Creating mobility of the future«, Mr Marko Gorjup and Mr Vladimir Gregor Bahč offered a modern sports wheelchair to a disabled basketball player Milan  Slapničar. Milan is a permanent member of the Slovenian wheelchair national basketball team, and he also plays in the regional NLB wheelchair league. According to the national team coach Žiga Kobaševič, Milan is currently the best player and the strongest link in the national team. Milan is an example to many, but above all he is a great encouragement to the disabled who, in the beginning, face unimaginable traumas.  The new sports wheelchair, which is specially adapted for basketball,  is lighter, quicker and more agile, so it will provide him an even better mobility in the future.

 

The ceremony was led by the always charming Bernarda Žarn and enriched by musicians from the Dolenjska region Irena Yebuah Tiran, the accordionists Katarina Štefanič Rožanec and Tomaž Rožanec, and finally by a young percussion band MuwaRuwa Gruva from the Music School of Marjan Kozina, Novo mesto who performed on the TPV Group products.

 

ABOUT TPV GROUP:
TPV Group is one of the leading development suppliers operating on the global market of automotive industry. Their core activity, whose main driver is the company TPV d.o.o., is development and production of different components for automotive industry, such as body and chassis assemblies, car seat components and parts, and engine gaskets. Moreover, they develop and provide comprehensive solutions for production logistics management, where the automated guided vehicles, which are result of their own development, are one of the key products. The company is located in five sites in Slovenia– Novo mesto, Brežice, Suhor, Velika Loka and Ptuj – and one site in Kragujevac, Serbia. Due to the needs of customers, they intend to extend their production processes to new markets in the following years.
They are globally recognized as a development and pre-development supplier in the automotive industry. Their development services are purchased by most demanding OEMs for their premium brands like BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover, Renault etc. TPV develops products which have a significant impact on the driving dynamics, safety, ecology and driving comfort.
The TPV Group is besides TPV d.o.o. composed of TPV Prikolice d.o.o., TPV Avto d.o.o. and TPV Šumadija d.o.o., extending their field of operation to sales of new and used cars, program of comprehensive services for car users and program of light car trailers. The latter are developed and produced jointly with the German partner Böckmann. TPV is also one of the partners in the development company called SiEVA, who develops technological competencies and takes part in various research projects.

2 NEW CHALLENGES POSTED!

Hello innovators. We have posted 2 brand new challenges for you. Be sure to participate and win a reward!

 

You can send us your solutions for the challenges via our contact form and our team will evaluate them and pick the best one.

 

Good luck!