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Ubiquitous oriented embedded systems for globally distributed factories of manufacturing enterprises

Ues delivers the next generation of methods and means for development and production of hi-tech products in modern manufacturing enterprises. A synergetic result comes from the domains of a) management and control architecture, b) distributed systems of ict, c) ubiquitous oriented embedded systems.

Most production processes are still based on a Taylorian paradigm that builds on deterministic operations in production, on a static environment and on equilibrium between market demands and capabilities of production process. The real nature of modern manufacturing is quite the opposite: it is about dynamics, stochastics, complexity and globalisation. A new approach is needed. This project is about the development of new concepts for distributive adaptive manufacturing that include simultaneous development in the domains of manufacturing, informatics and embedded electronics. The goal is to restructure modern production from hierarchical into flat, adaptive, distributed, self-organised production systems. We propose: a) To develop a manufacturing concept that will give structures for further optimisation of globally distributed manufacturing systems and of a production environment as a whole, while embracing new ICTs (Information and Communications Technology) and new technologies of embedded systems, to build such structures. b) To design and build a family of ubiquitous oriented embedded systems that will provide the means to implement new non-hierarchical manufacturing structures. Development of these ubiquitous oriented embedded systems will result in a family of new physical devices for monitoring and controlling manufacturing systems. Entities of the proposed project are: a) Development of a new manufacturing concept for flat, adaptive, distributed, self-organised production systems. b) Development of embedded systems, based on wireless connectivity, in the form of small devices that are seamlessly integrated with production machines, operators, parts in production, materials and transport systems to gather data and to control some machines' functionality. c) Development of a distributed communication system in the form of component-built entities that run on workstations and interface with small wireless devices that interact with the physical aspects of a manufacturing process. d) Development of a scalable web-based application for monitoring, control, micro-planning and prediction of stochastic events (failures) and (quality) fluctuations in geographically distributed manufacturing of a global enterprise. The interdisciplinary nature of the project involves professionals from fields of manufacturing, informatics and electronics engineering. The project offers contributions in each of these fields. The most important is synergetic contribution, which is the next level in concept, construction and execution of a manufacturing system. The system of first implementation produces high-tech products, i.e., turbines and sub-components for hydroelectric power plants. Clarification. Development and production of high-tech products, as sub-components of electric plants, is a complex process. The common practice is to support data management with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, e.g. with SAP, Navision or others. These systems do not support manufacturing processes in a broader sense, which includes product development, production and assemblies in factories and on the spot. The trend is to achieve short design and production times while keeping flawless quality of production. The effect is a massive increase in the number of interdependent events and data. An example is a shop floor for welding components for heavy machinery where there are about five thousand operations in a single month. These operations are supported by about ten thousand documents (drawings, work orders, control and review procedures, thermal specifications for different materials, cost calculations, manufacturing protocols, production scheduling). As needed, all these quanta of information need to be available in real time in a more condensed form for the purposes, at any hierarchical level, in any geographical location. This being the case, the decision making process unwinds smoothly, using the least amount of time, cost, failures and stress. This is where the results of this project beat the established production practice. The motivation for this project is multi dimensional: a) Need for thorough control in the production of custom high tech components and subsystems (in the case study, for hydroelectric power plants). b) ICT support systems for the purpose of a) do not exist. Present SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System) systems mostly register events in respect of machine functionality and they transfer NC (Numerical Control) code. c) Establish that the manufacturing practices of a) and similar productions can be restructured, i.e., optimised for quality, cost and production times. Our past work on defining an Elementary Work System (EWS) and different production structures, based on EWS, and pilot implementations of these, support the claim c). d) ICT and embedded systems technology offer amazing new possibilities for information integration of machines, products, operators, processes, managers, accountants, and just as importantly, customers. These possibilities have so much potential that conceptually new manufacturing systems are now feasible.
Acronym: 
UES
Project ID: 
4 177
Start date: 
01-07-2008
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 470 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Design and Modeling / Prototypes
Market Area: 
Industrial Automation

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.