FoFdation consortium partners gather for progress update
Jan Willem Gunnink, Manager of Research & Development Projects in Europe for Delcam, and four other colleagues from the company joined the consortium partners of the FoFdation project at ECN in Nantes, France, from 16th-19th October 2012 to share results and update everyone on the progress made so far towards achieving the project objectives. There were some excellent discussions and very informative presentations, and also individual work package meetings.
The four year FoFdation project aims to develop a ‘Smart Factory’ architecture and implementation to achieve the following: -
• Faster production ramp-up
• Reduced manufacturing costs and lead time
• Monitoring of sustainability parameters
• Compilation of all information into one dashboard
Results and innovations will be communicated and shared with European manufacturing industry and educational institutes through demonstrations, extensive dissemination activities, which Delcam are leading, and Living Labs.
The project is divided up into four building blocks; Smart Manufacturing Controller (SMC), Smart Manufacturing Optimizer (SMO), Smart Manufacturing Execution System (SMES), and Smart Enterprise Content Management (SECM), which will be brought together to achieve efficiency and sustainability benefits. Partners are also developing a universal manufacturing information system, a Manufacturing Information Pipeline (MIP), based on a data exchange standard that can share data seamlessly in a common format. Through these developments, the FoFdation project will address some of the major challenges that manufacturing companies face today.
Being halfway through the project, this GA meeting marked a critical milestone. Project Coordinator, Jean-Bernard Hentz of Airbus SAS Operations, opened the meeting and when speaking about dissemination said, "Next year, 2013, will be a year to really open doors, when we can show what we have done and can do”. Each work package leader then updated the rest of the consortium on what had happened since the last GA.
Notable highlights included:
• Focussing on analysing the existing data exchange standards and identifying which data is missing in order to develop a structure for the Manufacturing Information Pipeline.
• Considering sustainability in manufacturing; not just for now but for 10 years in the future.
• Looking at creating the perfect model of the imperfect machining process, right from conceptual design through to development and evaluation. For example, feed rate has been identified as a key parameter and therefore needs to form part of the machine tool simulation signature.
• Defining the content of the project training days and putting forward proposals and scheduling for the use cases planned.
During the time in Nantes, there was also the opportunity to visit the ECN lab for a live demonstration and a tour of their machining facilities used for experiments, including two wave pools investigating aqua dynamics. ECN has been conducting various tests on their machine tools to investigate open-NC machining and to contribute to the overall project objectives.
This project is co-funded by the European Commission as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) adopted in 2008. The EERP proposes the launch of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in three sectors, one of them being Factories of the Future (FoF). Factories of the Future is a EUR 1.2 billion program in which the European Commission and industry are collaborating in research to support the development and innovation of new enabling technologies for the EU manufacturing sector.
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15 November 2012