The manufacturing sector is faced with customized production in a short time as well as with increasing rivalry from lower-wage countries. In order to remain competitive Austria’s manufacturing industry will need to keep coming up with new innovations and effectively react on customer needs. Collaborative networks can enable the manufacturing enterprises to establish connections to local and regional partnering companies, integrate their resources and establish a collaborative and flexible infrastructure.
Cloud manufacturing is a service-oriented manufacturing model with characteristics of customer orientation, dynamical scalability and reconfigurability as well as distributive collaboration. It involves the mapping of manufacturing resources (hardware and software) and capabilities into the cloud as services and providing control and management capabilities to manage the manufacturing resources, processes and operations. One of the major research issues for realizing a cloud manufacturing system is how to access and control physical manufacturing equipment and distribute sub-tasks to the shop floors of different collaborating manufacturing companies.
Moreover, realizing the integration of existing enterprise information systems with cloud manufacturing is of vital importance. Besides, networked manufacturing lacks strong management mechanisms to coordinate large-scale distributed resources, services and operations and more cloud manufacturing applications are needed to showcase the concept and push this new area forward. The aim of the project COmBINE is the development of a cloud manufacturing system that can provide on-demand manufacturing services by offering a shared pool of manufacturing facilities and manufacturing capabilities between networked SMEs.
We introduce a layered knowledge-intensive architecture for composing the cloud manufacturing system. The control architecture is based on the coordination between the hardware-near real-time capable control layer of each involved manufacturing system with the higher functional layers using an extensive ontology-based environment representation, which synchronizes activities with other companies within the entire cloud manufacturing system.
Moreover, the project will develop mechanisms to dynamically generate a production schedule considering system capacity, time constraints as well as system states. It will provide a framework with analytical instruments to allow data collection and analysis for cloud integrated manufacturing. Besides, to enable that the higher level scheduling algorithms possess the real-time status of manufacturing services on machine side this project encompasses services encapsulation of the production infrastructure. The project intends to active promote the project activities within the SMEs community and establish a network around the project results. It will demonstrate the approach in one realistic test case taken from industry partners and tested in the three laboratories.
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