XPRESSProject reference: 26674
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Flexible Production experts for reconfigurable assembly technology
Total cost:EUR 12 477 505
EU contribution:EUR 7 999 324
Call for proposal:FP6-2004-NMP-NI-4
Funding scheme:IP - Integrated Project
The goal of XPRESS is to establish a breakthrough for the factory of the future with a new flexible production concept based on the generic idea of 'specialised intelligent process units' ('expertons') integrated in cross-sectoral learning networks for a customised production.
This knowledge-based concept integrates the complete process chain: production configuration (decrease of ramp-up time of at least 50%), multi-variant production line (varying types & volumes on a single line) and 100% quality monitoring.
This concept is demonstrated in the automotive, aeronautics and electrical industry but can be transferred to nearly all production processes. XPRESS meets the challenge to integrate intelligence and flexibility at the 'highest' level of the product ion control system as well as at the 'lowest' level of the singular machine.
The radical innovations of the 'expertonic networked factory' are knowledge and responsibility segregation and trans-sectoral process learning in specialist knowledge networks. The concept is built on co-ordinated teams of specialised autonomous objects (expertons), each knowing how to do a certain process optimally.
They have the intelligence to choose the best-known production parameters for a given task. Assembly units composed of expertons can flexibly perform varying types of complex tasks, whereas today this is limited to a few pre-defined tasks.
Communicating machines will be developed using self-organising and self-learning algorithms, data mining and common interfaces. By sharing the specific knowledge of each experton in a network, other expertons are able to learn from each other in one production line, but also between different lines as well as different production units.
This architecture allows continuous process improvement. XPRESS will be able to anticipate and to respond to rapidly changing consumer needs, producing high-quality products in adequate quantities while reducing costs.
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