F2J Reman won not one, but two, Rematec Remanufacturer of the Year Awards in December 2020. One for Best Process Optimisation and one for Best Business Innovation. We interviewed Rémi Kornalewski, F2J Technical manager on their win and the road to recognition.
What was your reaction on winning the Remanufacturer of the Year Award, or better said, two awards?
When we discovered that we won 2 awards, our first reaction was to be very surprised, we didn't imagine that our project could permit F2J Reman to win, let alone 2 awards.
For F2J Reman, and all F2J factories, it's an honour to have received these awards. We consider is as a recognition from a multidisciplinary jury.
What people have been inspiring you (within the company or the industry) to take the lead in your field of expertise?
At F2J Industry, we are lucky to have leaders, who believe in technological evolutions and push the technical team to stay aware off novel technologies and to find applications for our companies.
Generally speaking, the industry starts innovation from a need and tries to find the right technology and puts this in place. At F2J, it happens that we do it in the other direction. We identify a novelty and make a working group to find applications. Each time the goal is to adopt a successful new technology, adjust it to our needs and deploy it.
Also, for this project, we are working closely with the Imvia laboratory from the University of Burgundy, located in Dijon and Le Creusot. Antoine Leger, the developer of the system, is currently a doctoral student in this laboratory and alternating with work at F2J Reman. This kind of collaboration is a real chance for the outcome of the success of this project.
What are the next steps?
With our project we aimed that the application of AI + Vision would be a solution to our findings in a risk analysis. Due to our very large range of remanufactured components, training people to recognise the parts efficiently takes a lot of time and in case of turnover, we identify a real risk. After the ‘proof of concept'-phase, we've deployed it for one range of products with success.
And now we identify a new risk, we are still dependent on people: computer specialists.
Therefore, the next step is to permit anybody to feed the system with new parts without the help of a computer specialist. We are developing a system with a user -interface to add new parts in the system. It is quite complex, because without this system a lot of steps are needed: virtual increase in the number of pictures, creation of distorted pictures and segmentations (to tell AI what is important in the picture)
Do you have future aspirations for your organisation after this recognition?
We are sure that this recognition will give more visibility for F2J Reman and also for our group F2J Industry. For sure it confirms the fact that we need to continue to explore new technology applications for our business and we could imagine offering our system to other companies due to the polyvalency and adaptability of the AI.
Left: Antoine Leger, Computing Vision Specialist, right: Rémi Kornalewski F2J Technical manager