OPTIMUM's major goals are: improvement of the aspects of distributed control, adaptation of (I)IoT technologies to real industrial needs, enhancement of control and applications by context and location awareness as well as application design and common-model based 3D engineering and supervision.
Prerequisite for Smart Factories
OPTIMUM will enable different kinds of machines and machines of different manufacturers to communicate with each other and their operator(s). A Distributed Control Platform (DCP) will replace today’s inflexible, centralized and hierarchical industrial controls. Current proprietary and hardware driven control modules will be replaced by smart, more capable control devices. Those new smart controls will incorporate high modularity and increased data security at even reduced costs. “Cybersecurity” of all machine controls and operating devices will guarantee integrity and confidentiality of process and machine data along with data ownership. All of the above is a must if one wants to install real “Smart Factories”.
With 3-D visualisation and simulation tools developed in OPTIMUM, it is expected to provide easy to handle added value to customers. Those user-friendly engineering tools will lead to a new approach in for examples sales meetings. Already at the beginning of an acquisition phase, it will be possible to define bottlenecks in the planned material flows, optimise cycle times and processes very easy and effective. Collected performance data after implementation will be fed back into the engineering tools and will enable deviation tracking of the original plan vs. the actual delivery which will facilitate continuous improvement of the engineering tool.
(Semi-) Autonomously moving machines in material flows of Smart Factories or Smart Material Handling applications need to communicate with each other and their operators. All participators – human or machine, moving or static – need to communicate with each other. This communication needs to be realized at extremely high speed – in real-time – and at an extremely reliant rate. Only then operators and equipment safety can be guaranteed.
The basis for these ambitious targets is twofold: Firstly, the communication channels need to permit data exchange with high reliability in real time and secondly the system needs to be aware of the current position of all the actors in it – moving or static. That way the system can gain the necessary context - / positioning awareness of all actors participating in the material flow.
Localization & Context Awareness are the “heart” of any Smart Factory or Smart Material Flow enabling highly flexible, highly modular and highly effective processes.
OPTIMUM Consortial Partners (Industry, SME´s, Research) are well known in their sectors and have a long history of contributing to different working groups and standardization bodies e.g. VDMA, FEM, EN, DIN. These standardization activities are expected to support the exploitation of OPTIMUM results. OPTIMUM is expected to be a pacemaker for Digital Manufacturing and Digital Material Handling.
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