Delcam is one of a number of leading organisations from the EU, Switzerland and Korea working on a cooperative R&D project to develop a universal information system for the ‘Factory of the Future’. The system will be based on data exchange standards using an information pipeline to distribute and share seamlessly necessary information within a manufacturing system, locally or globally, in a commonly-accepted model and format.
The four-year project, titled FoFdation (Foundation for the Factory of the Future), envisions a ‘Smart Factory’ architecture and implementation. This has the potential to achieve significant benefits in earlier visibility of manufacturing issues, faster production ramp-up time, faster time-to-volume production and subsequently shorter time-to-market, reduced manufacturing costs and improved product quality, as well as sustainability objectives like reduced energy consumption and waste reduction.
Other partners in the project are the Airbus (France), Artis (Germany), GF Agie-Charmilles (Switzerland), CADCAMation (Czech Republic), Centro Richerche CRF (Italy), Fidia (Italy), Mecadtron (Germany), Paragon (Greece), Siemens (Germany),Tekniker (Spain) and the University partners, Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), EPF Lausanne (Switzerland), Postech (Korea) and the University of Patras (Greece).
These benefits will be achieved by meeting the following five objectives which jointly compose the foundation of the ‘Factory of the Future’:
In short, the developments will extend existing information processing systems by adding more information about product data, machine tools, tooling and processes, and process monitoring information fed back to shop-floor information systems.
This will improve:
This project is co-funded by the European Commission as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) adopted in 2008. The EERP proposes the launch of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in three sectors, one of them being Factories of the Future (FoF).
Factories of the Future is a 1.2 billion Euro program in which the European Commission and industry are collaborating in research to support the development and innovation of new enabling technologies for the EU manufacturing sector. For further information please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/research/industrial_technologies/lists/factories-of-the-future_en.html