The IMS Working Group aims to develop strong co-operation links and initiate systematic information exchange amongst teams carrying out long term research on Intelligent Manufacturing Systems, also known as IMS. The Working Group covers Europe but will actively pursue its extension into the other IMS regions (USA, Japan, Canada, Australia), thus aiming to cover the industrialised nations world-wide.
IMS is an international research initiative in manufacturing. The Working Group will closely follow developments and activities within this initiative, and disseminate relevant information (e.g. collaboration and funding opportunities) throughout the European Union. It will also establish links to counterparts in the other IMS regions.
IMS equally stands for a set research topics (too large for this Working Group). Four topics have been selected around which clusters of Working Group participants have been formed: (1) Global Manufacturing; (2) Next Generation Manufacturing Systems; (3) Multi-agent Systems for Agile Manufacturing; (4) Intelligent mechatronic production units. This clustering will provide focus to the Working Group research activities.
The IMS Working Group plans to hold six workshops over a period of three years. The third and sixth workshop will be open workshops or conferences. In addition, partners will use short scientific visits and meetings in smaller groups to further research collaboration and closely follow developments within the IMS Initiative. Also, core members of the consortium will actively ensure liaison with the other IMS regions, Japan, Canada, Australia. These liaison activities aim to result in joint workshops.
The consortium activities will produce reports of the workshops, proceedings of the two open workshops/conferences, joint papers on IMS research, plans for future co-operative research on IMS, reports discussing the industrial relevance of the IMS Working Group research activities, and an annual short paper describing the Working Group view of an IMS research agenda. Regarding the IMS Initiative, the Working Group will pool its knowledge and information channels. Quantitatively, academic participants are to contribute to every workshop, which includes full papers for the open workshops. Each cluster is to produce one or more joint papers.
The Working Group will disseminate relevant information about IMS as a research initiative through its WWW server and through a regular IMS section in the ICIMS Newsletter. The results of its research activities, especially the open workshop proceedings, will be publicly available. The IMS-WG Home Page on WWW will be the prime means of dissemination.
More generally, the Working Group members will feed their results in research projects as well as high-level education and training. The industrial partners will use the results to strengthen and guide their internal developments. Several partners are participating in other European/International networking activities Networks of Excellence, Working Groups, IFIP, IFAC, IEEE, SME and CIRP which will provide strong channels for information dissemination across the region.