The European manufacturing industry suffers a deep crisis due to an overcapacity of production, while in Brazil there is a steady economic growth that is pushing manufacturing companies to increase their production rates. Despite these differences, in both geographic areas there is an increasing need for flexibility in production activities that must adapt to a continuously changing world market demand. As a consequence, the manufacturing industries will have to be more flexible and better adapting to shifting consumption patterns. The key issue to survive the worldwide competition will be the capacity of putting new and innovative products on the market, enhancing systems flexibility through advanced ICT tools and architectures. This cannot be achieved using the traditional engineering and manufacturing approach but rather a radically new production paradigm must be devised.
The future factories will have to be necessarily characterized by production systems with the capacity to ensure efficiency, performances and robustness, with the constraint of high production variability. To reach such objectives, the engineering of networked monitoring and control solution represents a major concern.
BEMO-COFRA aims at providing generic solutions to these challenges faced in the manufacturing industry by addressing the main weaknesses of present manufacturing systems, which highly affect overall efficiency and reduce competitiveness:
The BEMO-COFRA project will address both technological aspects and user needs to promote a wider adoption of large-scale networked monitoring and control solutions. In the project vision, this will be attained by:
The BEMO-COFRA infrastructure represents a suitable solution for the management of large-scale complex systems in different application domains e.g. transportation, power and manufacturing. Despite some peculiarities, all such application domains are characterized by a highly networked environment and by an increasing need for integration of different heterogeneous technologies. However, the manufacturing environment poses further unique challenges in terms of harsh radio propagation conditions, dependable operations, real-time or quasi real-time communication constraints and also mobility (e.g. smart objects installed on board moving parts of a production line) that make it particularly suitable for BEMO-COFRA validation purposes.
BEMO-COFRA strives for the realization of a large-scale distributed monitoring and control framework that eases the supervision and the optimization of physical processes. The potential impact of the developed solution will be made visible by demonstrating the capabilities of a BEMO-COFRA-enabled production monitoring and control system deployed in a test bed manufacturing plant provided by COMAU Brazil.
Fraunhofer FIT will ensure the success of the project by applying an overall project management based on the well-known Project Management Institute (PMI) standards. Apart from project coordination, FIT is involved in the development of sensor fusion and context-awareness technologies to enable an intelligent monitoring and control system in the manufacturing domain. FIT together with In-JeT and ISMB are responsible for transferring the results obtained from the Hydra and ebbits projects, e.g. establishing Linksmart middleware in the project, applying middleware design and adaptive-system know-how.