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Companies uses AI to test all of its coaxial cord production

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As part of the recovery plan for the aeronautics sector obtained by Atem, a strong focus lies in improving the quality of our products, while moving increasingly towards the digitalization of our production process. Thanks to our partner Connektica*, we have launched a digital platform hosted in the Cloud, allowing the launch and supervision of tests for all of our coaxial cords.

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Given our EN 9100 certification and our markets, we individually control all the cords leaving our workshop. We are thus, in a way, the living memory of our customers who rely on us to have access to the performance curves of our cords (S-Parameters) throughout the life of their programs. This step is fundamental in the production process and no cord leaves our workshops without its associated performance curves.

Having fully embraced the spirit of the start-up, we have chosen to work with Connektica* and are convinced of the relevance of this cooperation. Connecticut is able to use the algorithms and apply them to the microwave business, given the past professional experiences of the founders. Artificial intelligence algorithms only make sense if they serve business logic. Through our cooperation, we seek the following gains:

Increase our competitiveness: reduction of test times, automatic generation of reports, and automation of certain tasks in the control process. The platform also gives a clear picture of the predefined performance indicators in the form of a dashboard of the progress of the tests and therefore allows a better organization around the tests in the production cycle;

Quality and traceability: In addition to instantly determining the acceptability of our test components, Connektica’s test platform allows us to monitor performance variations over time, giving us the ability to move from a reactive approach to a predictive approach. All of the information collected is available in a standardized format to ensure complete traceability, thus allowing us to save considerable time during investigations;

Develop versatility in the post of the controller
: the profession of the controller (HF technician) is essential in our organization, although these resources are rare on the market. Mastering the full diversity of network analyzers (VNA) takes time and once mastery of the position is acquired, the job can become repetitive. The platform makes it easy to centralize the requirements, program the test sequences (workflow), call certain calibrations and follow the steps step by step while being guided through a user-friendly interface, thus significantly accelerating technician training time. It is therefore easier to create versatility in this position while guaranteeing the quality of the measurements;

Valuing our data: the automated recording of all raw data and associated metadata (type and length of cords, connectors, assembly methods, types of equipment and calibrations used, etc.) opens up a range of cases of uses of data valorization. To cite just a few examples, the platform will make it possible, among other things, to estimate the performance of an assembly based on historical measurements (machine learning), to identify correlations between production data and test results (classification) or to reduce in a controlled manner the number of measurements required to validate the proper functioning of a component under test (experiment plan). The platform will also allow us to set ourselves ever-higher internal performance targets to continually strive for a higher level of quality. The platform is now integrated into our production cycle and used daily. It must now prove itself over time by collecting a lot of data and demonstrating all the contributions of artificial intelligence in controlling our cords. In a few months, the two companies will make a new communication to present the first concrete results, with the ambition of presenting the results at the next EuMW22 (European microwave exhibition) in September 2022. The digitalization and increase in the performance of our laboratory do not stop there:

“From our first exchanges, we realized the possible synergy between our companies, both through the presentation of Connektica’s RF test platform meeting Atem’s needs and through the complementarity of our respective expertise allowing us to set up together in the value chain. We are delighted with this first collaboration on French soil which looks very promising!”

* Connektica : Start-up founded in 2019 in Quebec by two aerospace engineers specialized in industrial automation (industry 4.0) and software development, Connektica offers a test platform for measuring radio frequency (HF) components in space and terrestrial applications. Connektica offers an innovative approach to significantly reduce RF test times and costs through the use of machine learning and offers intelligent traceability and diagnostic tool.

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