Connected Manufacturing - On the road to transparent production(Connected Manufacturing)
from mass production to small series of complex custom-made products with high
added value and short lead times has increased the complexity of production
processes of Flemish manufacturing companies. As a result, the productivity is
under pressure. Digital technologies make it possible to connect machines,
extract data from these machines and use this data to improve production. The
various software applications (ERP/MES/...) can also be integrated with each
other, allowing the captured data to be brought seamlessly to the desired
processing level. This can increase transparency and productivity in
However, despite the potential of these digital technologies, the number of industrial applications remains too limited for the time being.
Connected Manufacturing wants to accelerate the introduction of these technologies to Flemish SMEs in the manufacturing industry. Generally applicable connectivity solutions for existing production systems and new generations of machines will be developed for this purpose. These allow a heterogeneous machine park to connect to existing software systems or new applications, locally or in the cloud.
Through representative use cases of SMEs from the manufacturing industry and machine builders, this collective research project deals with the following subaspects:
- Generating different dashboards for various applications, which provide (near) real-time insight into what is happening in production.
- A feedback of data from the production floor to the existing ERP system, so that the planning can be adjusted to the current state of production.
- The exchange of data between manufacturing company and machine builder/integrator for the start-up of digital services by machine builders or integrators for customers.
- The optimal use of production data for a more targeted control of operators.
The project provides an overview and insights into the possible technologies and standards to connect heterogeneous machinery, extract data from it and link it to higher-level systems (end-to-end connectivity).
Two demonstrators focus on the different practical aspects and give the SMEs an insight into the possible applications of the developed concepts and building blocks.
Workshops and a training programme support accelerated knowledge building among SMEs and give them the opportunity to experiment with the concepts, building blocks and technologies themselves.
The project focuses on cooperation between all actors in the value chain (machine builders, integrators and ManuTech suppliers). All these actors are represented and the project support group therefore includes all stakeholders. They provide input for the specification of typical applications and provide representative use cases. The members of the user group will have priority when it comes to knowledge acquisition and are invited to experiment with relevant cases.