Transforming Manufacturing through Data: The Digital Factory of the Future Project
InControl is proud to contribute to the Digital Factory of the Future (DFoF) project. The project aims to provide insights and proof that implementation improvements within the factory can be obtained by using data-driven initiatives. It is conducted in a consortium of multiple companies e.g., KMWE, IJssel, De Cromvoirtse, Omron, Neways; academic institutes TU/e and Fontys, and research institutions e.g., TNO.
In the ever-evolving landscape of manufacturing, the Digital Factory of the Future (DFoF) project emerges as an innovative initiative aimed at transforming traditional production processes through the power of data. At the heart of the DFoF project lies a visionary blueprint that holds the potential to reshape data storage, utilized, and shared within manufacturing ecosystems.
To showcase the potential for companies, the Multi-Agent System (MAS) in combination with the use of the International Data Space (IDS) is demonstrated, tested, and visualized in a simulation environment. InControl sponsors this research and will train and support a master’s and bachelor’s thesis student, a PhD, and researchers of Fontys to build the simulation in Enterprise Dynamics®, InControl’s software for Digital Twins.
The Digital Factory of the Future (DFoF) project aims to create a blueprint Digital Twin, including the building blocks necessary to better store and utilize data.
This data can be used to implement improvements within the factory, ranging from the production processes to the entire planning of the supply chain. The goal of the blueprint Digital Twin is also to use and create open standards in order to share data within and between companies. Examples of these open standards are the “Smart Connected Supplier Network” (SCSN), Asset Administration Shells (AAS), and the International Data Space (IDS).
The basis for this digitization of data is a digital copy of the factory where (inter)activity of processes, goods, machines, inventory, and people can accurately be captured and tested. InControl is an expert leader in providing specialist software for building and storing such Digital Twins of factories.
An important aspect of the project is also to showcase to (potential) companies how new data-driven initiatives can help to improve various KPIs throughout their companies, for example, through the connection of data and simulations in order to increase the flexibility of production systems.
An example of this is through the use of a MAS, where, through the use of collected data from the shop floor, agents autonomously learn from their environment in order to improve the production planning and scheduling process, as well as control assets on the shop floor. Results from this project have already showed to be promising. In order to showcase the potential for companies, a state-of-the-art Digital Twin (simulation and visualization) that utilizes the proposed MAS planning and control solution of a (real) shop floor is required. Enterprise Dynamics®, InControl’s software is ideal to build such a Digital Twin.
A Digital Twin has multiple benefits:
Analyzing the implementation of various “what-if” scenarios (i.o.w. experiment within the shop floor without the need to implement them in real life)
Increasing efficiency and productivity by simulating new planning approaches, highlighting possible inefficiencies
Showing the real-time situation of the shop floor, providing an enhanced way of giving feedback on the status of the shop floor.
Overall, the proposed solution can help companies to understand the importance of digitalization of a factory or operational plant and to make clear what benefits such a Digital Twin is able to bring.
InControl supports the students and researchers during this thesis project by providing its leading software for the creation of a digital factory. In addition, InControl actively will train, guide, and support the students in building a reliable digital twin model of the DFoF. The results of the research project will be presented beginning next year.
InControl is a trusted and pro-active partner in many joint research projects that InControl also sponsors or invests in. InControl contributes to academia with free software licenses to use its leading simulation software. In addition, we support students and professors with guest lectures, ready-to-go student assignments, training & support on the use of our software, and our years of experience building and running simulations.
Contact dr. Nienke Valkhoff at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a solid Digital Twin for research, teaching, or thesis.
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