Industrial problems and challenges

CHALLENGE 1

“Mathematical modeling of characteristics and stabilization of microcellular and sponge rubber”

 
logoSAG

SAG-Italia Srl is an Italian company producing outsoles and heels made of compact rubber.

The company wants to innovate its products using microcellular and sponge rubber. This material presents a lower density with respect to compact rubber, which implies as an advantage a lower weight of the final product.
The production of foam rubber is characterized by the following processes: vulcanization, cross-linking, expansion and stabilization. It is obtained by adding, in the rubber compound, a blowing agent that, during the vulcanization process, decomposes, releases gas and forms pores inside the rubber matrix. These pores are responsible for the lower density of the final product.
The company has tried with several tests to produce microcellular and sponge rubber with a specified density, abrasion and hardness, experiencing a problem in the stabilization of the final product: after printing the outsole, the R&D staff of the company has observed an undesired homogeneous dimensional shrinking of the final manufacture. This shrinking takes place over a time span that depends on several properties such as the time and the temperatures involved in the process.
Goal: The company needs a mathematical model for the production process of microcellular and sponge rubber in order to predict the percentage and the duration of the shrinking process for given data on chemical composition of the compound, time and temperatures of the process, while highlighting the main factors that influences rubber stabilization.

CHALLENGE 2

“Mathematical and statistical analyses to support service performance forecasting in queuing systems”

 
logoQurami

Qurami is a startup company, born in the summer of 2010 from an idea of its current CEO, Roberto Macina, then majoring in computer engineering. The application has been developed by a young and talented team with a wide variety of skills. The project was officially presented for the first time at the “Startup Weekend” in Rome in October 2010, immediately gaining the attention of individuals, companies and institutions. Housed at Rome’s incubator LUISS-Enlabs, Qurami has already received funding from a venture capital firm and has partnered with Italian and international ticketing machine manufacturers.
Queuing in a public office, hospital, university or shop while sitting on the couch at home or at a table in a bar? Now it’s possible, thanks to Qurami, an innovative technology solution that permits users to remotely reserve a spot in line through a mobile application that interacts with all existing types of electronic ticketing machines. With Qurami users are able to see in real time the exact number of people in line, the estimated waiting time and they are notified when their turn is approaching. All these features in a free and easy-to-use app.
The use of Qurami allows users to save time, optimise their daily schedules and facilitate their movement around the area. This is why Qurami has been recognised as one of the most remarkable innovations for the smart cities of the future.

Goal: To exploit the amounts of data collected by Qurami, in order to provide the users with a better estimation of the queuing progress, waiting and service times, based on mathematical and statistical analyses.