Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

FALCON Report Summary

Project ID: 636868
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.5.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FALCON (Feedback mechanisms Across the Lifecycle for Customer-driven Optimization of iNnovative product-service design)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The undergoing transformation in our current socio-economic models, led by the advent of emerging technologies, has changed the relation of customers to products and services. Customers play no longer a passive role in the product and service development process as they express their product and service experiences and opinions through several channels such as discussion forums, blogs, chat, idea voting, and more. In addition, sensor systems in combination with products incorporated in the Internet of Things (IoT), are becoming increasingly common.
The potential endless amounts of available information offer a rich ground for value creation in the product-service innovation chain. In this context FALCON envisions to provide a framework to enable the realization of new products and value-adding services, resulting from user experiences and product and related services usage; undertaken with the principles of sustainability and social responsibility.
The goal of FALCON is to offer an innovative product service design solution enabling to provide new user-centric product and services exploiting user feedback, will be achieved focusing on five objectives:
1) Addressing product-service information collection through Collaborative Intelligence and Product Embedded Information Devices.
2) Enabling product-service knowledge representation, exploitation, openness, and diffusion.
3) Strengthening collaboration and new product-service development through new feedback and feed-forward mechanisms in the product life-cycle.
4) Supporting innovative product-services design using manufacturing intelligence.
5) Improving product-service lifecycle assessment approaches through the real-time collection of product-service usage information and related experiences.
FALCON aims at developing a virtual open platform (VOP) for product-service design and product lifecycle management (PLM), pursuing a multi-system approach to facilitate interoperability with the heterogeneous IT-business landscapes supporting product-service systems. The platform consists of a business and a technical layer. Feedback from users via social media and products via sensors from the usage phase (“middle-of-life”) is collected and semantically enriched in the technical layer. The knowledge thus created is then filtered and analyzed in the business layer and used for the (re-)design of products and services at the “begin of life” (product-service design). The platform will include new simulation and forecasting technologies and will moreover benefit from new semantic and cross-sectoral search capabilities to exploit PLM information. In addition, a systematic integration of concepts and tools related to Knowledge Based Engineering will allow the complete transition up to an automated adaption of the design of products and their services.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first milestone “MS1: FALCON Requirements & Constraints identified” was reached in M12. During the first 12 months of the project, the main activities concentrated on the definition of the FALCON Business Scenarios in the fields of White and Brown Goods, Healthcare Products, Clothing Textiles and High-tech Products. The Business Scenario definitions have been methodologically acquired by means of predefined templates, interviews with stakeholders within the specific Business Scenarios and workshops carried out separately with all the industrial Business Scenario partners. In a first step, the Product-Service-System of each Business Scenario has been defined. Then, scenarios of the AS-IS and TO-BE situations and their involved actors have been identified. Both scenarios (AS-IS and TO-BE) have been visualized as UML diagrams. Based on this formalisation of the AS-IS and TO-BE situation technical and non-technical requirements to achieve each TO-BE scenario have been conducted with respect to the FALCON VOP.

All requirements derived from the Business Scenarios have been consolidated and transferred to a comprehensive list of requirements for the development of the FALCON VOP. Further, the outcomes made a first draft of the FALCON VOP Architecture feasible. This Architecture has been detailed and improved in the subsequent period. In parallel to the requirements analysis and the first draft of the system architecture, a semantic description of each of the different domains of the Business Scenarios has been defined. The current approach foresees an upper ontology (generalized among all domains) and four domain-specific ontologies representing each business Scenario.

Up to M18 the FALCON VOP architecture has been updated and detailed according to refined requirements and interaction analyses (ref. to Business stories) of the Business Scenarios. Paper-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) Mockups have been drafted for each front-end module enabling to communicate the envisaged features and capabilities of the platform to non-technical partners. Further, the FALCON Open API has been defined and approaches for agile implementation have been discussed and implemented.

For implementation of the FALCON VOP modules a complex environment has been set up using Docker, Nexus, GIT and Jenkins. This implementation infrastructure was established for all partners to meet the requirements for an agile approach for software development. Some VOP modules have been already implemented prototypically (e.g. Data Federation Module) proving the applicability of the implementation environment.

In addition, in order to enable a coherent perspective on the envisaged platform user-stories have been defined making use of the drafted GUI Mockups. The user stories define actors (e.g. a production manager), which interact with the platform in order to solve business activities, which are typical for the corresponding domain. The stories show the VOP modules which are to be used and the results which appear if certain functions are used. This allowed an interaction analysis to identify the completeness of VOP modules, the correctness of system architecture and an initial validation of the semantic description of each domain.

Results on dissemination and exploitation plans have been achieved as well. Workshops were carried out in order to detail the exploitation plan for the FALCON results and to maximize the impact of the expected outcomes. For this purpose so-called Innovative Exploitable Assets (IEA) have been identified and documented in form of Knowledge-Briefs (K-Briefs). All FALCON K-Briefs follow a predefined structure highlighting the Value Proposition, Impact on each of the business cases, potential extension to 3rd party, and so on. In the upcoming period these K-Briefs will be improved further along with the growing maturity of the Falcon VOP in order to identify the expected value drivers from FALCON. Based upon these K-Briefs the individual exploitation plans as well as the joint exploitation plan will evolve throughout the project life in line with the actual activities and results of the overall work packages.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The FALCON VOP will demonstrate the envisaged goal of optimising the use of collected information enabling a concurrent, collaborative and productive product-service design process based on the given business scenarios.
FALCON project will deliver significant impact for EU citizens, SMEs and industry through seven main levers. (1) Market knowledge, enabled with the continuous collection of products experiences, will foster new products-services development that meets social group’s expectations. (2) New business models, developed through the analysis of user feedbacks and benchmarking of other markets. (3) Innovation, enabled with product embedded information devices and context awareness for self-improvement throughout the whole product lifecycle. (4) Cost effective products, enabled with selective simplification of products and waste reduction. (5) Processes efficiency, enabled with collaborative tools, allowing product, service and process designers to learn and understand how networked intelligent products in IoT can be of advantage. (6) Serviceability, through the establishment of directions to develop proximity added services and thus European employment. (7) Business growth, by ensuring successful adoption of new products and services through better and anticipated expectations and improvements.

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