A project where experts from Korea, Switzerland and the EU, including Tekniker-IK4, seek a universal information system that is valid for all production systems
Headed by Airbus, the project has a budget of over 10 million Euros as is part of the European Economic Recovery Plan
Design a universal "factory of the future" based on cutting-edge information and manufacturing systems to act as a model when implementing any production system anywhere in the world. That's the ambitious aim of the FoFdation ("Foundation for the Factory of the Future") project, with the participation of experts from a consortium of companies, research centres and universities in Korea, Switzerland and the European Union, including Tekniker-IK4.
Lead by the aeronautical giant Airbus, FoFdation has a budget of 10.35 million Euros, is co-financed by the European Union within the 7th Framework Programme and is part of the European Economic Recovery Programme (EERP), which proposes launching Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in three sectors, one of them the "Factory of the Future". The project started in June 2010 and will continue for four years.
FoFdation is based on the understanding that manufacturing companies operate under great pressure regarding productivity, enhanced product variability and environmental restrictions, meaning that their future involves cooperation at world level with multiple partners in the supply chain, optimisation of production and monitoring and managing information to comply with such new demands as traceability, safety and sustainability.
This leads to a need for a universal information system based on a data exchange standard that allows the different entities and their associated equipment and devices to share data without problems in a common format. These foundations of the Factory of the Future represent the brain of the manufacturing system and will allow the implementation of a real-time network with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
The experience of Tekniker-IK4
In this ambitious project, Tekniker-IK4 will be responsible for the work package corresponding to the Smart Manufacturing Execution System (Smart MES). Its main contribution will be the conceptual design of the system the definition of the metrics for sustainable manufacturing and standardising the data capture of the different devices by using interoperability standards.
The Department of Production Engineering and Automation at Tekniker-IK4 has over ten years experience researching and developing Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) to carry out production plant management tasks. Its advanced research in this field and its experience in implanting said systems in local companies led to its participation in the FoFdation consortium of experts.
As well as Tekniker-IK4, FoFdation consists of Airbus, Siemens, Artis, GF Agie-Charmilles, CADCAMation, Centro Richerche CRF, DELCAM, Fidia, Mecadtron, Paragon and the universities Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France), ETH in Zurich (Switzerland), EPF in Lausanne (Switzerland), Postech (South Korea) and Patras (Greece).
With over 30 years experience in researching applied technology and transferring the results to business, Tekniker-IK4 has achieved a high degree of specialisation in four broad areas (Precision Engineering and Mechatronics, Surface Engineering, Production Engineering and Automation and Manufacturing Technologies), allowing it to place its cutting-edge technology at the service of all kinds of tasks. In 2009, the technological centre in Eibar carried out work valued at close to 21 million Euros.