Innovation and communication technologies offer a seemingly boundless source of innovation which could deliver exactly what European manufacturing businesses need to produce more agile and flexible, to leverage the benefits of context-aware enterprises, ease interoperability, and operate more sustainable. However, the potential of ICT in manufacturing is far from being fully exploited.
Among the most important enablers for ICT in manufacturing are suitable IT architectures. An IT architecture specifies the structure of an IT system, i.e. the arrangement of IT components within such a system. Doing so, it defines how functional components (services) are integrated to the overall system, what interfaces have to look like, which basic services will be provided, etc. This implies most importantly that the IT services – that is, any function of the system – can only be provided if enabled by the architecture. Thus, the architecture determines the capabilities of the system – providing the basis for a powerful manufacturing system, or limiting it strictly.
Towards making ICT a commodity and an enabler for innovation in the manufacturing industry, employing the right IT architecture and IT services is thus of fundamental importance. The central product of the Road4FAME project is a strategic research roadmap for IT architectures and services in manufacturing. Join us with your expertise in the roadmap development process and become a member of the Road4FAME Experts Group.