Road4FAME held a successful final event in Harderwijk, the Netherlands at the premises of AWL TECHNIEK on 22nd to 23rd September 2015. The event was held in conjunction with the final event of I-Ramp3, a corresponding project under the FoF-scheme and attracted a total number of 70 participants from academia and industry. Road4FAME partners presented their final roadmap, business models as well as recommendations. Presentations were followed by an exhibition of demonstrators.
Road4FAME identified the following eleven key ICT –solutions as very important for the European manufacturing industry:
- Open data and system integration platform for an unstructured data environment that includes harmonised / standardised interfaces
- Customer and demand data gathering and analysis
- Information technology and operational technology convergence
- Product and service co-design with customers
- Big data analysis and use for quality control
- Joint Cognitive Systems for decision support (DSS)
- Flexible production equipment and interconnections
- Problem and context-centric display of crucial information to users
- Engineering Platform for design/operations continuum
- Supply chain visibility and decision assistance
- Security solutions for collaborative networks
However, implementation of these solutions, particularly for SMEs, is hampered by a highly heterogeneous manufacturing ICT landscape and lack of interoperability and high implementation costs. At the same time the requirements from customers for flexibility, customisation and track-and-trace capability are steadily increasing.
In order to match the current gap between manufacturing needs and demands, Road4FAME recommends enhanced research efforts in the following areas:
- Reference Architectures / Open Architectures
- System and Information Integration Architectures
- Data capture, storage and analysis
- Data and information visualization techniques
- Flexible and adaptable manufacturing
- New algorithms for distributed processing of data and systems in close-to-real time
- Information modelling and work domain modelling of socio-technological systems
- New or Improved low-cost, miniaturised smart sensors
- Interoperability and standards
- Security strategy for companies and standards to protect the networked supply chain Confidentiality and know-how protection throughout the supply chain
- Incorporation of psychology into ICT research
- Applied, multidisciplinary research with large scale industrial collaboration
- CPPS-Cyber-Physical Production Systems
- Supporting education in the field of CPS
- Establishing demonstrators
The Road4FAME Consortium noted another important trend; non-manufacturing companies generate a large proportion of the value chain; so called platforms such as Google, Uber and Amazon are taking over markets. In order to sustain European competitiveness a Pan-European platform is necessary to boost the adoption of emerging digital technologies. But, to get platforms up and running large and influential European companies need to be willing to commit to a common project whilst developing and supporting ecosystems of SMEs and mid-caps.
In addition, Road4FAME recommends investing in digital entrepreneurship education and programmes that foster digital skills. Within that context, management and factory floor level employees should be made aware of the need for sustainable manufacturing processes or so called ‘green’ manufacturing, addressing pressing societal challenges, e.g. climate change. Finally, Road4FAME recommends promoting social acceptance of digital manufacturing in co-operation with trade unions considering employment quality and quantity, welfare, health and privacy.
As regards the exploitation of new business opportunities, there is a need for an innovative contract framework to deal with increasingly dynamic and flexible supply chains. The legislation governing the IT sector and the internet has been built up around this sector and this may not be appropriate for manufacturing. Road4FAME sees a need for legal support specific to manufacturing applications. Increased automation and co-working between robots and humans requires a “legal by design” framework and liability issues have to be tackled with respect to potential accidents related to new ICT. A barrier to many SMEs from offering services to companies is the risk introduced from liability for lost production. Within this respect, a mechanism to provide insurance to remove some of this risk is also recommended. Finally, new service ideas based on data privacy need to be addressed with clear guidelines on data ownership, management and exploitation to provide a level playing field across Europe.
Note: All Road4FAME Public Deliverables can be accessed under resources (including fact sheets, orientation paper,press releases and presentations)