The process industries - chemicals, petroleum, food, pharmaceuticals, electricity, steel, pulp & paper, etc. - constitute a major part of European manufacturing which for many years has actively improved its process technology ahead of world competition and enjoyed product advantages as a result. In many sectors, the underlying technology is now mature and the search for continued cost advantage is switching to streamlining and improving performance of the total business enterprise. However, in order to achieve closely-coupled organisations in which the key functions (manufacturing, research, marketing, engineering, asset support, etc.) are fully integrated and able to respond quickly and effectively to customer demands, it is essential to provide an enabling infrastructure of advanced information technology.
The creation of such a total IT system, specifically focused on meeting the needs of the process industries has so far proceeded very slowly. The technical requirement is an open IT infrastructure and a portfolio of interchangeable software and hardware products, capable of selective configuration to any process manufacturing enterprise.
As such, the total scope is very large, and extends from grass roots data collection and process control through to high level strategic modelling.
The only practical way of achieving an effective, sectorially-specific solution of this type, is for the users in the process industries to articulate their precise needs to the interacting vendor groups to provide a framework for co-ordinated delivery of complementary product elements.
The establishment of a User Group Reference project in which owner-operators will be influential in establishing the functionalities of the required advanced IT solutions and in developing focused products which will contribute to the future total system. It follows on from a successful pilot activity (PRIMA, EP-8234 and EP-9904) which has carried out essential groundwork by bringing together senior executives from across member states to determine dominant business drivers for the future. The project will establish a sustained dialogue between the process sectors, the IT vendors and the academic community.
The project involves substantial commitment of resources from a core group of four partners, all owner-operators, providing multi-sectoral, multi-national perspectives. This group represents the most concentrated source of manpower in the project and will be directly involved in the execution of the work packages. It will interact with a larger network of 20- 30 associate partners, again owner-operators, providing advice, direction and sectorially-specific technological and business contributions. It is the declared interest of the project to extend the network of owner-operators involvement as widely as possible and a strong emphasis will be the establishment of outward dissemination of information and results into the broader general network of manufacturers.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
92078 Paris La Defense