Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is essential for the digitalization of the manufacturing sector; notwithstanding, less than 25% of the manufacturing companies in Europe profit from ICT-enabled solutions.
In order to democratically boost the competitiveness of the European manufacturers (especially Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – SMEs), innovative solutions need to consider technological and commercial scalability from the beginning.
From this perspective, the cloudification of services has become the ideal enabler in the manufacturing digitalization. Successful European initiatives such us CloudFlow, CloudSME or Fortissimo have demonstrated the benefits of cloudifying engineering services, by combining HPC resources, computational tools, and cloud computing platforms.
Manufacturing SMEs are empowered to compute and solve problems that cannot be tackled without Cloud and HPC technology, making them more competitive by reducing development times for innovative products with better performance. The results of these initiatives are fostering the engineering and to some extent the prototyping processes within the manufacturing workflow. However, monitoring and optimizing production processes have not yet greatly benefited from an integrated information workflow and simulation loop based on online factory data.
- paving the way toward manufacturing analytics,
- enriching the manufacturing engineering process with on-line data, and
- simulating and optimizing producibility and production processes with the vision to support it in real-time.
The consolidated platform between CloudFlow and CloudSME will be extended with capabilities to process factory data and enriched by additional manufacturing process simulation tools. It is going to be accessed through a central interface, enabling the stakeholders to interact, and collaborate. The protection of stakeholder’s data is going to be safeguarded with a proven security and privacy framework. In addition to the technological aspects, the start-ups founded by CloudFlow (clesgo) and CloudSME (cloudSME UG) are establishing a strategic alliance to adopt a common sustainable commercial model for the holistic solution. Three waves of application experiments are going to validate the applicability of the results, by providing novel requirements and demanding use and business cases.