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Internship | Improving productivity analysis for Cyber-Physical Production Systems

Eindhoven, North Brabant 6 mois
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The Bright project is a cooperation of TNO and Nexperia. In the project, we are developing model-driven methodologies to model and analyze the productivity of cyber-physical production systems like wafer scanners or die bonders. The goal is to make design-space exploration faster by using light-weight models that capture the necessary information about the system, like system resources, the system behavior, and the timing characteristics. In the design-space exploration, we want to analyze the impact of modifications made in the system, like speeding up robot movements, adding system resources, or changing the product routing. The modeling and analysis is supported by LSAT (Logistics Specification and Analysis Tool). The insights learned by ESI are expected to be integrated in the methodology around LSAT. They are expected to be valuable to the bigger Dutch high-tech eco-system, as LSAT is used by multiple companies including ASML, VDL ETG, and Nexperia.

What will be your role?

LSAT uses models that abstract low-level, functionally deterministic behavior, like the move of a robot arm or a turn table, into high-level activities. Using automata, all possible activity sequences can be modeled. LSAT provides various analysis techniques to compute a schedule with optimal productivity from these models.
By using abstract models, LSAT allows designers to effectively explore the system timing behavior without having to resort to detailed models and time-consuming analysis of the system's mechanics and embedded control.

The system timing behavior is analyzed using the mathematical framework of max-plus algebra. Max-plus algebra is an algebra in which the max and plus operations are defined as addition and multiplication in conventional algebra. The max operation is used to model synchronization, where an action can only start if some preceeding actions have finished their execution. The plus operation is used to model execution times of actions. We use max-plus matrices to capture the timing behavior of activities. The precise timing of activity execution depends on interactions between activities. The timing behavior of activity sequences is computed by repeated max-plus matrix multiplication. Such sequences are used to describe the logistics in the system that ensure a correct product flow.

This assignment focusses on improving the max-plus performance analysis in LSAT. In some models, we encounter situations that yield an infinite state space in the analysis. This is often caused by system resources that do not synchronize at any point in time. At the moment, such situation can be detected, but optimal productivity analysis is not yet possible. The goal of this assignment is to develop new analysis techniques that can deal with these situations.

The assignment will be carried out at TNO's Embedded Systems Innovation department at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven in cooperation with Nexperia.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

You are a Master student in Computer Science, Embedded Systems, Electrical Engineering or Mathematics looking for a graduation assignment of 6-9 months. You are interested in performance aspects of cyber-physical production systems. You have relevant background knowledge in the area of formal methods, synchronous data flow, and/or max-plus algebra. You are excited about developing new knowledge and contributing to an applied research project in collaboration with industry.

What you'll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It's not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That's why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow's world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we'd like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the 'apply now' button.

Contact: Bram Sanden, van der
Phone number: +31 (0)88 86 65420

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.