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FP7

IMS2020 — Result In Brief

Project ID: 233469
Funded under: FP7-NMP
Country: Italy

Intelligent manufacturing systems development through global cooperation

A large international consortium of American, Asian and European partners joined forces to develop a roadmap for the realisation of next-generation manufacturing systems.
Intelligent manufacturing systems development through global cooperation
Materials, devices and systems with the ability to sense and adapt to changes in the environment are termed 'smart' or 'intelligent'. Intelligent manufacturing systems (IMS) are considered to be the cornerstone of future competitiveness in related fields.

The EU-funded project 'IMS2020: Supporting global research for IMS 2020 vision' (IMS2020) brought together a consortium of leaders from Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States. Members will create a roadmap of necessary research and development (R&D), policymaking and management activities that will realise IMS goals.

With a view to developing a Euro-centric manufacturing innovation strategy, scientists sought to encourage international cooperation and the active participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They focused on creating inter-regional manufacturing communities in the five key areas of IMS. These areas were sustainability throughout a product's life cycle, energy-efficient production processes, enabling technologies, standardisation and educational tools.

Through the diversity of its partners, the consortium had access to a variety of perspectives and practices, trends and visions, knowledge and technical skills. IMS2020 assimilated this treasure of information, analysed ongoing and planned research activities, and conducted foresight analysis leading to recommendations for manufacturing research. The latter covered prioritised research topics, new schemes of cooperation among IMS fields and ways to enhance SME involvement.

IMS2020 has made an important contribution to the future competitiveness of EU manufacturing through a clear roadmap. This roadmap is founded on a paradigm shift from conventional factories to global international manufacturing networks. IMS2020 will also play an important role in sustainable manufacturing by reducing natural resource use and carbon footprint together with product life cycle analyses. Finally, the close ties formed within the context of project work should facilitate further international collaboration for the benefit of the global manufacturing community.

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