Firma OCHI-INŽENÝRING, spol sro (člen AVO) dosáhla významných úspěchů na mezinárodním poli. Byla nominována na SME Assembly & Europan Enterprise Promotion Awards 2014 v Neapoli a její projekt byl zařazen do EUREKA SUCCESS STORIES o úspěšných řešitelích předmětného projektu. Níže si zmíněnou success story můžete přečíst.
Novel mechatronic systems ensure safety in theatres
Mechatronic systems, which combine electronic and mechanical elements, can be extremely useful in fields ranging from manufacturing and testing to leisure and the arts. If designed or operated incorrectly, however, they can also be highly dangerous. A consortium of partners from the Czech Republic and Germany recently engaged in a project called SECURITY MECH, which aims to address this issue.
In the latter half of the 20th century, as other countries fell under the influence of film and television, stage performance held its place as the cultural medium of choice in Eastern Europe. For countries like the Czech Republic and Poland, theatres are a staple of cultural heritage – but in order to accommodate increasingly spectacular performances, they must be kept technologically current. Adjustable stages, moving platforms and other complex electronic and mechanical systems are an essential part of contemporary stagecraft.
In 2006, the European Commission issued directive 2006/42/EC, extending the health and safety requirements for mechatronic systems like those used in theatres. This produced a big problem in Eastern Europe, where consumers relied on mechatronics designed for their technical accuracy, not their safety. An innovative solution was required – and one small company recognised a big opportunity. OCHI-INŽENÝRING sro, a family-run business offering engineering solutions in hydraulics, pneumatics and mechatronics, joined with German partners ISR Industrieservice and Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau as well as larger Czech company Bosch Rexroth CZ to research, design and test alternative systems that would put safety first.
One stage at a time
The SECURITY MECH project’s objective was to produce linear and rotary actuators – the motors that lift and turn the parts of a mechatronic system – which would comply with the highest national and international safety standards. Funding for this ambitious work was provided by Eurostars, an instrument supporting SME-led projects and maintained jointly by the EUREKA Network and the European Union. Eng Otakar Ožana was Manager of OCHI’s Research and Design Department at that time: “The project was pioneering not only because of its complexity, but also because no other supplier could offer machinery to comply with these standards,” he recalls
Calling for rigorous testing of the systems at every stage, the contribution made by each of the four partners was vital: “The Eurostars framework ensured that we could make optimal use of our partners and their capacity for development, planning and management,” Ožana explains. The functional models created under the SECURITY MECH project were ultimately successful in achieving a certified safety integrity level of three – indicating that they would fail on demand as little as one in ten thousand times. Outperforming anything else on the local market, these secure mechatronic systems were soon in high demand.
“By 2010, the achievements of the Eurostars project had made us one of the five most successful Middle and Eastern European companies in our field,” Ožana enthuses. Sales to prominent customers, including six theatres and two metalworking plants across the Czech Republic and Poland, have generated turnover of €3.75m – and concomitantly created hundreds of jobs. Over the next three years, orders of €4.5m are expected as the market impact of SECURITY MECH continues to grow. The project’s success has been vital to the company, and to Ožana – who was able to retire this year, leaving OCHI to his two sons.