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Digital automation
Deadline: Jan 21, 2016  

 Construction Industry
 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Construction Technology
 Industrial Manufacturing
 Manufacturing 2.0
 Horizon Europe
 Industrial Engineering

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Manufacturing value chains are distributed and dependent on complex information and material flow requiring new approaches inside and outside the factory both on process and product lifecycle level, from design and engineering over production to maintenance and recycling. Global competition and individualized products make it difficult for manufacturing companies to share information, to produce in collaborative networks across value chains.

Advances are needed in value- and supply-chain centric communication and collaboration schemes that merge machine, human and organizational aspects and enable manufacturing companies, especially SMEs, to respond to ever stricter requirements for being integrated into production process chains. Production architectures need to be more responsive to dynamic market demands which require radical change of production topologies to achieve dynamic production re-configurability, scaling and resource optimization. The challenge is to fully exploit the digital models of processes and products and to synchronise the digital and physical world respecting security and IPR protection requirements. This shall allow manufacturers to move from centralised production and logistics to de-centralised planning and control or hybrid combinations thereof.


a. Research and Innovation Actions

Proposals are expected to cover at least one of the two themes identified below thereby exploiting advanced ICT like Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud-models, robotics, 3D printing, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, advanced human-machine-interaction, modelling & simulation, artificial intelligence methodologies and data analytics, as well as security by design. RIAs shall develop reference implementations of platforms in a multi-sided market ecosystem and include user-driven proof-of-concept demonstrations and validation in several different scenarios. Proposals should contain an outline business case and industrial exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.

  • Collaborative manufacturing and logistics. Target is to develop the "operating system" of the connected factory of the future and to integrate better manufacturing and logistics processes through platforms that enable and optimise communication and collaboration among supply networks, enterprises, machines and objects. Research issues to be addressed include: real-time architectures for interoperability; management of the data deluge from the myriad of monitoring and tracking objects and their fusion with other information sources within the factory and supply chain. Concepts are to be validated through pilots on business and system level to establish new economic collaboration models. Special emphasis will be on ICT security, knowledge protection, and trust in collaborative infrastructures.
  • Novel architectures for factory automation. Research should explore novel de-centralised, modular, scalable and responsive automation architectures of primarily discrete factory automation systems that support new trends in manufacturing like re-shoring and mass-customisation. Research should encompass the virtualisation of the traditional automation pyramid from sensor-control to enterprise-level and/or methods and models for the synchronization of the digital and real world, as well as integration of novel architectures into existing production systems. Special emphasis is on innovative concepts for shared situational awareness; on self-adjustment of digital models triggered by smart objects, on real-time co-simulation methods; and on handling of large amounts of sensor and process data.
  • The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 8 million would allow area i) to be addressed appropriately. For area ii) the Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 4 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Minimum one proposal per area will be selected.

    b. Coordination and Support actions

    CSAs shall support industrial consensus building both with suppliers and users across Europe, addressing future factory automation systems built on CPS and the IoT; pan-European platform building, and collaboration on manufacturing issues across all relevant PPPs.

    Expected Impact:

    Proposals should address one or more of the following impact criteria, providing metrics to measure success when appropriate

    • Innovative services, models and practices optimising manufacturing and logistics processes;
    • Quantified drastic reductions in the effort for integration or reconfiguration of today's hierarchical automation systems through advanced de-centralised or hybrid architectures;
    • Better and faster reaction to market changes by being able to use holistic global and local optimization algorithms in a collaborative sustainable value chain.

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