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Abstract

In this work, we report on the construction, training and functional assessment of an electronic nose (called ‘E-Nose’) that is capable of monitoring the microbial contamination onboard space ships under microgravity conditions. To this end, a commercial electronic nose was modified to allow for the sampling of microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) emitted from relevant bacterial and fungi species. Training of the modified ‘E-Nose’ was performed by establishing an MVOC database consisting of two Gram-positive bacteria strains (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus warneri) and two fungi strains (Aspergillus versicolor and Penicillium expansum). All these strains are known to exist onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and to form important parts of its microbial contamination. All cultures were grown on four kinds of structural materials also in use onboard the ISS. The MVOCs emitted during the different growth phases of these cultures were monitored with an array of ten different metal oxide gas sensors inside the ‘E-Nose’. Principal component analysis of the array data revealed that B. subtilis and S. warneri form separate clusters in an optimized score plot, while the two fungi strains of A. versicolor and P. expansum form a large common cluster, well discriminated against to the bacteria clusters.

Abstract

Cell culture on orbit is complicated by numerous operational constraints, including g-loads on the ascent, vibrations, transit time to International Space Station, and delays in experiment initiation. Cryopreserving cells before launch would negate these factors. However, defrosting these cells is problematic, since the traditional method of employing a water bath is not possible. We here describe a unique apparatus designed to accomplish this in a microgravitational environment. This apparatus resulted in rapid defrost of cryopreserved cell cultures and allowed successful tissue culture operations on the station for periods of up to 21 days.

Abstract

The article presents sources of production knowledge and thoroughly describes its identification which on the construction of decision trees, and on the construction of knowledge bases for production processes. The problems that arise during the technical preparation of production are briefly characterized and the advanced algorithm with which decision trees can be built is described in detail. A decision tree was built based on real data from the manufacturing company. Decision trees are presented as a method of knowledge representation.

Abstract

Internal logistics is a key element of a production process as it specifies product quality, timeliness and value of orders. The purpose of the research was to determine the amount of non-compliance in the selected production process caused by internal logistics operations. The analysis covers both the quantity and type of non-compliance as well as the cost of non-compliance. One of the basic quality management tools was used in the research - Parteo-Lorenz analysis. An attempt was made to identify potential causes of non-compliance. The significant impact of non-compliance arising in internal logistics operations in production costs was pointed out.

Abstract

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used as an additive in conventional point-of-sale thermal paper receipts, in the production of many polycarbonate plastics, and epoxy resins lignin for food. BPA is xenoestrogen, a foreign compound that is not naturally produced in living organisms, but which acts similarly to natural 17-ß estradiol (natural estrogen). Due to its weak estrogenic activities, BPA exposure may influence multiple endocrine-related pathway, and is associated with prostate and breast cancer, neurobehavioral deficits, heart disease, and obesity. Furthermore, BPA may act as a DNA methylation agent and cause altered gene expression in the brain. Human exposure to bisphenol A is a matter of controversy. This review shows a potential risks in workplace resulting from contact with bisphenol A. The work presents the contribution of BPA exposure levels via dermal contact and the relationship between BPA exposure level and oxidative DNA damage.

Abstract

High strength low alloy (HSLA) steels are a new generation of plain carbon steels with significantly improved mechanical properties while maintaining good weldability with common commercial techniques. Residual stress and microstructural analysis of welded HSLA Strenx 700 MC was carried out in this research. Results have shown that the welding process causes significant grain coarsening in the heat affected zone. The microstructural changes are also accompanied with creation of tensile residual stress field in the weld metal and heat affected zone, reaching up-to depth of 4 mm. Tensile residual stresses are well known for acceleration of fatigue crack initiation and together with coarse grains can lead to significant decrease of the fatigue properties of the welded structure.

Abstract

Remarkable place of reinforced concrete structures in construction field has been noted in wide number of recent researches. Subsequently, their degradation due to aggressive environment has become the topical problem nowadays. Therefore, the formulation of reliable technique for corroded element strength decrement is of great importance, and could be achieved only with the use of complex experimental and theoretical analysis. In this article an attempt is made to propose the mathematical approach to corrosive process modelling, taking into consideration the specifics of its development. According to thorough literature review on existing studies, main specifics of the process were indicated for further suppositions and assumptions formulation. Accordingly, the complex theoretical investigation with corresponding mathematical computations was conducted and results of analytical modelling were discussed. As the initial data for analytical modelling results of previously conducted experiments were used. Analysis of the obtained results shows rather high correspondence with the real conditions of structural element exploitation, taking into consideration material anisotropy and complexity of the corroded zone spread along the rebar cross-section. Proposed methodology for limit force decrease evaluation in general demonstrates reliable results and could be used for further evaluation of corrosion impacts on reinforced concrete elements bearing capacity.

Abstract

The practical implementation of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and in particular the definition of the critical control points (CCPs) in the food industry is usually a complex structured task. This is particularly the case of food enterprise, where quality/safety manager ability, knowledge of the production processes and ‘‘sensitiveness’’ is usually the discriminate for the proper identification and prioritization of risks. The same applies for the definition of causes which may lead to food safety hazards. This paper addresses the issues of how quality/safety managers can objectively and automatically implement the HACCP principles of hazard analysis in the application of HACCP, which is the identification of risk priorities and of the related CCPs. The proposed methodology combines decision tree analysis approach for the analytical decomposition of the relevant steps in the manufacturing process of ice cream.

Abstract

The aim of the following research it to provide assumptions for creating workflow efficiency model that can be implemented in repeatable production workstations. One of the main components of this model are human activities and their interactions with other elements of working environment: human and artefacts. Recognition of patterns of human behaviours within working processes gives the opportunity to find critical points that influence workflow efficiency.

The subject of research is a working process existing in meat producing plant. The main method used for recognizing human activity patterns was observation and qualitative and quantitative assessments of operational activities based on video registration. Particularly, human activities were analyzed under ergonomics criteria in order to proof dependencies between process efficiency and specific ergonomic factors forming working conditions at meat plant.