MENU

Improving the competitiveness of manufacturing in industry (umbrella: generates projects, but does not carry out r&d)

Flexible communication network in the field of industrial
production systems integrated in company operations to
develop competitiveness in mfg. Methods/design, mfg.Systems/
technology and organisation/human resource development.

Changes in the economy, society and technology call for new forms of innovative production. Product and process life cycles (from design to end) will have to be continuously reconsidered if European industry is to remain competitive. Companies, as part of globalising industrial "trends", will have to carry out research and innovation in the integrated field of technology, man and organisation: FACTORY to respond to market needs as well as social and environmental concerns. A flexible communication network is to be set up within industry to initiate EUREKA proposals in the field of industrial production systems that are integrated into company operations, and necessary for the development of their competitiveness in the following areas: - manufacturing methods and product design - manufacturing systems and technologies - organisational aspects and human resource developments leading to improvements in manufacturing and business processes. The network will encourage the formulation of proposals that will provide products and processes that are compatible with future environmental needs, such as the efficient use of resources and product total life cycle considerations. In order to generate collaborative projects, the network will bring together industrial end-users, industrial suppliers and R & D and technology transfer organisations. The working methods and the instruments used by the factory network are open for improvement: newly recognised industrial needs such as those emerging from the EU 1005 study "Factory for the Future" may lead to innovative new approaches and collaborative activities within the network. A response to this need is a flexible network steered by: a FACTORY Working Group (FWG) which would meet on average twice a year. The essential objective of the FWG, a meeting place for the representatives of the countries concerned by FACTORY-FF ideas, is to help the concerted and largely accepted development of the modern tools of technology and the organisation and management of industrial manufacturing systems. Ideally, FWG members should consist of an official from each member nation (or its representative) supported when needed by appropriate technical experts. In this context, the FWG would consolidate and dispatch the emerging strategic orientations ang guarantee: - the setting up of projects and the search for partners - the organisation of the technical and managerial part of the projects' portfolio for an optimal diffusion of the results and permanent stimulation of research in the field - the analysis of key tendencies by defining the strategic industrial European axes of development liable to structure the future portfolio of projects - the promotion of harmonised progressive and comparable assessment methods between EUREKA members, notably for the non-technological aspects. Moreover, the FWG should: - report annually to the National Project Coordinator (NPC) Group on its activities and ensure the promotion (diffusion) of the results obtained (in liaison with the EUREKA SECRETARIAT in Brussels) regarding events such as fairs, seminars, conferences, etc.). Besides the regular meetings, the organisation of ad hoc Thematic Support Groups (TSG) on specific subjects could be initiated by the FWG if industrial interest in the area emerges. The fields of interest of these TSGs could cover different branches and trades and address targeted thematic area subjects such as: - technology transfer - dissemination methodologies - organisational issues - the extended enterprise - simulation and virtual reality - rapid prototyping - the virtual factory - assembly - maintenance, and - availability of means of production, etc. The TSG would be responsible for their organisation and objectives and will be of limited duration. It would forward the information and results to the FWG. In any case, the EUREKA project proposals which result from FACTORY Network Activities, should enter the EUREKA mechanism by the normal "Bottom-Up" approach with a minimum of bureacracy and respecting all the EUREKA principles. Each nation's resource team will choose its appropriate participation in the FACTORY Working Group. Participation in the TSGs is optional and is to be decided on by each country according to its priorities.
Acronym: 
FACTORY
Project ID: 
1 440
Start date: 
01-12-1995
Project Duration: 
139months
Project costs: 
0.00€
Technological Area: 
Industrial Manufacture
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.