PERFoRM

Production harmonizEd Reconfiguration of Flexible Robots and Machinery

Objective

The world economy, and naturally also the European, are facing enormous pressures to their manufacturing domain. On the client side, the demand for more customized, cheaper with higher quality products is driving the manufacturing companies to search for innovative developments to achieve those requirements. On the company side, disturbances such as delays or shortages from suppliers or resources breakdowns may have a deep impact in the company performance. Allied to those disturbances, there is the constant need for cost production reduction and here, energy consumption has an important influence of the overall budget. To this, it urges to develop and bring new paradigms into the manufacturing sphere, and particularly new manufacturing control systems, exhibiting features, such as modularity, re-configurability and fault tolerant.

In this project, we really want to achieve a next generation of agile manufacturing systems that are dynamically reconfigurable and evolvable to enable evolution, self-organisation and adaptation along the system life cycle, facing the challenges of continuously and rapidly changing market conditions and increasingly smaller lot sizes and shorter leadtime and time-to-market requirements. These systems should be based on modular plug-and-produce components (with
build-in intelligence) with all the different actors involved in the manufacturing system life cycle (module suppliers, system integrators, end-users, …) brought together to smoothly design, deploy, ramp-up, operate, and reconfigure the new generation of production systems.

The PERFoRM project aims to overcome existing barriers and consolidate research and development results by integrating them into a common reference architecture and supporting Agile Manufacturing Control System for true plugand-produce devices, robots and machines. This is seen to be a key enabler to embrace the conceptual TRANSFORMATION to the Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS) paradigm, aiming to deploy it into running-living production environments implementing an EVOLUTIONARY concept encompassing the shopfloor side, but also the dynamic business sensitive composition of applications starting from standard building blocks. In particular, as illustrated in Figure 1 several challenges of change are imposing the need to transform and migrate the existing production systems based on the traditional centralized, vertical and rigid paradigm into a new distributed paradigm based on plug-and-produce enabled production resources. Rapid integration and change-over enabled by a ubiquitous communication and integration infrastructure (Manufacturing Service Bus) and dynamic decision making and optimisation methods on the MES level will be fundamental to help transform European industry into agile enterprises.