The increasing demand for customizable products, especially of high value goods or throughout high-tech industry branches such as automotive, photovoltaic or consumer electronics causes a need for flexible manufacturing environments. Even more, especially in these industries, manufacturing of products is not only executed at singular premises but throughout production networks is best practice.
For this reason, customization of certain products in most cases not only concerns on production site but influence parts of the related supply chain. This makes it necessary to consider the interdependencies of sub-products or processes delivered by the suppliers and their customization options during the design of the product and setup of the production network. Manufacturers have to closely cooperate in this network in order to exchange information about product specifications and to jointly plan delivery dates and other logistic details. Obviously, this causes efforts on each production network participant’s side and also may delay feedback towards end-customers.
In order to overcome these issues, the ManuCloud project followed the cloud manufacturing approach, i.e. it transferred service concepts from the computing domain (e.g. software-as-a-service) to the manufacturing domain (manufacturing-as-a-service) in order to (semi-)automate the integration of production networks on IT level.
In detail this means, that in addition to the exchange of business level information which is already well-established in industry, the developed web platform serves as an integration tool for product specifications and manufacturing IT systems on production network level. This could be achieved by describing products or process capabilities by means of manufacturing service descriptions which are generated from factory internal IT systems like MES (Manufacturing Execution System) in a semi-automated way. This generation of manufacturing service descriptions can take place consistently throughout all factory internal IT layers – starting with the description of equipment capabilities which are step by step aggregated and mapped to the services a factory provides.
Those service descriptions also include configuration options for the customization process of each (sub-)product or process provided by them and can be composed by means of a tree structure to end-products, i.e. the related supply chains.
Based on those end-product descriptions which are based on the underlying service descriptions and use their configuration options, user-specific adaption of products to the specific wishes is provided via a product configurator. This configurator automatically adapts to the respective product characteristics and configuration options provided and herewith represents a general tool to be reused for all products provided via the platform.
After configuring and ordering a product, MES-level control functionalities are provided throughout the production network, i.e. tracking of production status and measurement results, or even the optimization of configuration settings according to previous process results.
The ManuCloud consortium: The ManuCloud consortium was composed of eight partners from four different EU member states (Austria, Germany, Hungary, United Kingdom). The partners were the following: advanced clean production Information Technology GmbH (acp-IT), Robert Bosch GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA, consortium leader), Fraunhofer Research Institution for Organics, Materials and Electronic Devices COMEDD, HELIATEK GmbH, Tridonic Dresden GmbH & Co. KG (formerly LEDON OLED Lighting GmbH & Co. KG), nxtControl GmbH, Computer and Automation Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the University of Strathclyde.
Thanks to all partners!
The research leading to this result has received funding from the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme (grant agreement no. 260142).
Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut
A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones
28.03.2017 | Science China Press
Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy