For the purpose of realization of the project, a consortium was created which consists of four partners. The potential of the Consortium has a twofold source. On the one hand, it is built of the rich research experience of two of the biggest technical universities in Poland - Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice and AGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow. On the other hand, the industrial partners - companies ELTRAF and AMEplus - provide more than ten years of experience in manufacturing electrical devices and implementing complex control systems. Joint work on the project requires not only a proper distribution of tasks among the partners, but also regular reports on work progress and setting up expectations for the following stages of the project. Hence, apart from working gatherings, meetings of all contractors are organized periodically:
Partners in the Consortium
Silesian University of Technology (SUT) in Gliwice is among the biggest technical universities in Poland. It was founded in 1945. SUT is a public university, fully autonomous, managed by elected one-person as well as collective bodies. At the University there are 13 faculties, first degree (bachelor or engineer) studies are conducted in 70 fields of study, second degree (master) studies in 45 fields of study and third degree (doctoral) studies in 20 scientific disciplines. Collectively, there are about 28,000 students of first and second degree studies, 660 PhD students and 1,100 postgraduate students. The University contains an organizational department called Project Management Centre, which supports project leaders on all stages of project realization. The procedures developed at the University, defined by Rector's directives, ensure proper development of projects. SUT also includes Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre, which provides legal advice, help of patent attorneys and support in commercialization of project results. Faculty of Automatic Control, Electronics and Computer Science is one of the biggest faculties of SUT. It was founded on 15th February 1964. The Faculty is comprised of three Institutes (of Automatic Control, Electronics, Informatics), whose staff carry out research and education in six fields of study on first and second degree studies: Automatic Control and Robotics, Biotechnology, Electronics and Telecommunication, Informatics, Information and Communication Technology, Interdisciplinary studies (in English). The Faculty organizes third degree studies in four scientific disciplines: automatic control and robotics, biocybernetics and biomedical engineering, electronics, informatics. The Faculty also offers postgraduate studies in 5 fields. There are about 3,000 students of first and second degree studies, 200 PhD students and 25 postgraduate students in the Faculty. The staff are 223 research workers and 94 engineering, technical and administrative staff. The Faculty employees yearly take part in more than ten projects in EU framework programmes, more than 30 projects financed from domestic funds (Ministry of Science and Higher Education, National Centre for Research and Development, National Science Centre) and more than 30 research services. Statutory research is carried out in six fields (collectively, more than 80 topics). In 2012, the Faculty staff prepared 359 publications and monographs. They also have plenty of implementation achievements. At the Faculty there are 10 editors of journals and monographs. The Faculty also organized or co-organized five conferences (three of them international and two - national). The Faculty cooperates with 64 foreign research institutions and industrial partners. Measurements and Control Systems Group - a part of the Institute of Automatic Control at the Faculty - is directed by prof. dr hab. inż. Marek Pawełczyk, the head of SYSMEL project, and it employs also other members of the project research team. The Group consists of 28 research workers, 6 PhD students and 4 administrative and technical staff. Under the care of the staff of the Group there are 24 specialised laboratories; these are, among others, the Laboratories of Control of Comminution Processes, Control of Energy Processes, Control of Mechanical Vehicles, Computer Control Systems, Programmable Controllers, SCADA Systems, Signal Processing, Active Noise Reduction, Thermovision and Vision Measurements, Vibration Measurements, Flow and Level Measurements, Pressure and Gases Sensors, Industrial Measurements. The laboratories are equipped with high-quality devices (for example, real time spectrum analyser, generators of arbitrary signals and vector signals) and legalised measuring devices, which allows for calibration of the measurement instruments and methods developed by the Group. The staff of the Group have been specialising for many years in the subject of complex control systems, programming of PLC controllers and SCADA systems, digital signal processing, widely understood vibroacoustic problems and industrial measurement systems. Researchers from the Group are members of the Presidium of the Committee on Metrology and Scientific Instrumentation of Polish Academy of Sciences, Katowice Branch. During the period of their scientific activity, the members of the Group developed numerous textbooks, manuals and books in Polish and English which are related directly to the subject of the project; they have filed patent applications; they also edit two international journals - one on acoustics and vibration (on JCR list) and the other on control systems.
AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow is a public, autonomous technical university, working under the act "Law on Higher Education". The Faculty of Mining and Geoengineering (until 2002 - Faculty of Mining) is the oldest faculty and was the only one when Józef Piłsudski established the university in 1919. The Faculty consists of five departments: of Economics and Management in Industry; Geomechanics, Civil Engineering and Geotechnics; Surface Mining; Underground Mining; Environmental Engineering and Mineral Processing. The structure of the Faculty also includes separate organizational units: Central Laboratory of Shooting Technique and Explosive Materials, Laboratory of Research on Properties of Rocks and Stone Products approved by Polish Centre for Accreditation, Deanery with central financial office which provides full administrative and financial service to the Faculty. In 2012, on the Faculty there were realized: 69 agreements with industry, 18 research projects, 13 statutory research projects, 23 dean grants, 2 EU projects, 7 strategic projects from National Centre for Research and Development and 5 projects financed from other sources. The Faculty cooperates with numerous universities and other research institutions as well as with Polish and foreign central administrative offices. It organizes more than ten national and international conferences. The employees of the Faculty annually take part in more than 50 international and 40 national conferences. Currently, the Faculty employs 230 people, that is, 45 professors and habilitated doctors, 78 assistant professors with PhD degree, 37 assistants, 7 lecturers, 34 technical staff, 29 administrative staff. The Faculty educates about 4,200 students, including 48 PhD students, in four fields of study. Department of Environmental Engineering and Mineral Processing, in which part of SYSMEL project is realized, employs 36 people, including 30 research and didactic workers, that is: 5 professors, 7 habilitated doctors who are associate professors of AGH University, 15 assistant professors, 2 assistants, 1 lecturer. There are currently 5 PhD students in the Department, who provide research and didactic support, and 6 administrative and technical staff. The research workers in the Department deal, among others, with the following topics: methods of processing and enrichment of mineral resources, both natural and waste; recycling and neutralization of waste; alternative fuels, including renewable ones; methods of comminution and classification; drainage; water and sewage management; research on properties of mineral and waste resources; modelling and optimization of technological processes in processing plants, including monitoring and automation of processes, minimization of mining industry's environmental impact ("cleaner production"), evaluation of influence of industrial plants and facilities on the environment. The Faculty staff carry out a lot of publishing activities. During the years 2007-2013 they published 96 papers in journals from JCR list (ISI Web of Science), 899 papers in reviewed journals from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education list and 242 monographs and textbooks. Apart from publishing achievements, the staff of the Faculty have 15 patents (several of them directly related to the field of environmental engineering and mineral processing). The laboratories of Department of Environmental Engineering and Mineral Processing include, among others, laboratories of: Waste Disposal, Properties of Mineral Waste, Preparation of Chemical Suspensions, Environment Monitoring, Drainage, Flow and Hydraulic Classification, Micromeritics and Chemical Suspensions Research, Thermal Analysis, Instrumental Methods, Physical Methods of Enrichment, Chromatography, Comminution and Screening, Physical Chemistry, General and Analytical Chemistry, Flotation and Gravitational Processes, Microbiology. Moreover, the Faculty administers 21 specialised laboratories - for instance, laboratories of: Research on Properties of Rocks and Stone Products, Geotechnical Research, Preparation of Ash-Water Suspensions, Flotation, Comminution and Screening.
ELTRAF is a private company, established in 1994. It specializes in production of transformer cores, chokes, elements of transformers and magnetic field inductors. ELTRAF manufactures complete dry-type transformers in range from 3.5 to 400 kVA for voltages up to 6 kV. The company developed its own series of innovative constructions of transformer cores; among others, a specialised construction of transformer station for mining industry, having power of 400 kVA. The cores ordered at the company are made according to ELTRAF's own documentation or based on customer-supplied design. The main recipient of their transformer cores is one of the biggest German companies in this sector. In the course of its activity, ELTRAF realized many innovative projects for significant transformer manufacturers, for example, FT Żychlin, Power Engineering Czerwonak, ABB Łódź, Transformatory Janów, Turbo Care Poland. The company has a well-equipped mechanical part, which specializes in manufacturing core-clamping beams and IP54 transformer casings. Using the influence of magnetic flux on small ferromagnetic rods called grinding media (a doctoral thesis), ELTRAF designed and started producing magnetic inductors - electromagnetic mills. The company has a series of inductors with working chamber diameters D of 70, 80, 100, 200, 300, 400 mm. The electromagnetic mills manufactured by ELTRAF are used in mineral and chemical industry, pigment production, coal industry, road construction. The milling process may be carried out in dry or wet environment. In the field of magnetic inductors, the company actively cooperates with Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, company Wapeco Sp. z o.o., as well as Częstochowa University of Technology. Production of the mills is performed in new halls with excellent equipment. The company has a research and measurement stand, at which the necessary electrical and magnetic testing of the inductors may be performed. The company has applied for utility models of magnetic inductors. ELTRAF took part in Sectoral Operational Programme "Increase of Economic Competitiveness, years 2004-2006, activity 2.3: Increase of economic competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises through investments". In effect, the company received EU funding for the purchase of machines (among others, innovative transverse cutting machines with step-lap cutting function). The company employs a team of young and educated workers and is constantly developing. At the beginning of SYSMEL project a new hall was built for further expansion of inductor production. The company implemented Quality Management System according to ISO 9001:2009 standard. One of the results was being awarded the title Gazela Biznesu 2010. A master thesis based on the company's management and logistics policy was written at the University of Silesia.
Since 2001, AMEplus offers services in the field of design, programming, installing and commissioning of automation and control systems, especially in automotive, copper, machinery, energy, food and construction chemicals industries as well as in heat treatment processes and hydrotechnical facilities. In collaboration with automotive concerns, such as ŠKODA Auto a.s. in Mlada Boleslav and Kvasiny (Czech Republic), Mercedes in Vittoria (Spain), Volkswagen in Poznań (Poland) and Shanghai (China), BMW in Greenville, South Caroline (USA), KIA Motors Žilina (Slovak Republic), GM OPEL in Gliwice and Fiat Auto in Tychy (Poland), the company realized numerous projects for car industry all over the world. For many years AMEplus has been carrying out projects in Poland - for example for KGHM Polska Miedź, RAFAKO, SEFAKO, EnergoInstal - as well as in Near East, Russia and Kazakhstan. During over ten years of its existence, AMEplus realized more than 400 projects and has served nearly 300 companies in Poland and abroad. AMEplus also provides professional consulting services to their customers and is a certified integrator of control systems manufactured by GE Fanuc, Intellution and Astor. Chairman of the Board dr inż. Tadeusz Legierski was employed at the Faculty of Automatic Control, Electronics and Computer Science of SUT until 1997. In the Institute of Automatic Control he was carrying out research and development work for the industry and was working as an expert in the field of control and optimization of industrial processes. He is the main co-author of the textbook "Programowanie sterowników PLC" ("PLC programming") and of many papers in the domain of system analysis, process identification, design and programming of control systems. In years 2012-2013, AMEplus took part in Regional Operational Programme of the Silesia Voivodeship and received EU funding for expansion of the enterprise and introduction of improved services. As a result, in 2013 new company headquarters were put into use, of area 1200 sq. m and with a hall for prefabrication and assembly of control systems' elements. Besides the customer-commissioned projects, AMEplus developed innovative hardware and software solutions, such as:
- Datalogger VWS - a device for collecting and processing measurement signals from string sensors used at hydrotechnical facilities
- Datalogger AS - a device for collecting and processing measurement signals from inertial sensors used for vibration measurements
- FloVis - vision system for processing images of flotation froth in order to assess and optimize selected technological parameters of the flotation process
- TermoVis - system for control of electrorefining process on the basis of analyzing thermovision images of electrolytic baths
- MillVis - system for optimization of mills' control algorithms based on visional parameters of product material and on acoustic and vibrational characteristics of the mill
- ConVis - system for monitoring and verification of conveyor belts' operation and for estimation of material granularity, using a linear laser scanner and a vision camera
- Vision Systems - industrial systems for analysis and processing of machine vision images accompanied by services of design and programming of robotic stations
- SONO - system for registering and transmitting measured acoustic responses and for analysis of orogen vibration in mining units
- Dotra - system of technical devices of trunking radio network for KGHM mines
- ATS4 (Advanced Timetabling Solutions) - modern IT system designed for scheduling classes and managing resources at universities and schools.
In 2012, the committee of the competition for "Innovative Product 2012" at II International Copper Ore Mining Congress awarded the Gold Medal to FloVis system. The same system also received Golden Laurel of Innovation in the second edition of the Stanislaw Staszic Competition organized by the Polish Federation of Engineering Associations FSNT–NOT in 2012. AMEplus closely cooperates with universities, research institutions and other companies, particularly with: Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice (SONO, Datalogger, ATS4, student internships), AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow (FloVis), INOVA (Dotra), CUPRUM KGHM (SONO), Stanislaw Staszic Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy in Gliwice (creep tests laboratory), Telemetria and Budokop. During student practices in AMEplus, about 30 master theses were prepared, related to specififc orders from company contractors. A doctoral dissertation entitled "Automated Timetabling via Constraint Programming" also resulted from cooperation with AMEplus.