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An integrated software workbench as a tool for the reengineering of the manufacturing system engineering process


The primary objective of the PLANTFABER project is to study, develop and prototypally test "Plantfaber: the production engineer software workbench", a software system enabling the re-engineering and the management of all relevant information and knowledge associated with the Manufacturing System Engineering (MSE) process, that is a wide range of design activities ranging from shop layout and manufacturing system design, to material flow optimization and production control system design. Such a tool will be quite useful for manufacturing companies which, owing to increasing complexity and instability of processes and stronger market turbulence, need to frequently reengineer plants to preserve their competitiveness.

The workbench will have its foundation on a new descriptive method based on object-oriented technology, developed within the project, which will allow to capture all relevant data and structure of a generic manufacturing system.

Such a platform will be the corner stone of manufacturing:
- allowing an extraordinary improvement in production engineer's work;
- acting, with its data-structure, as a powerful baseline system in plant management;
- enhancing company integration as the "missing link" between IT support of product design and IT support of production planning.

The secondary objective of the project are the following:
- to re-design the Manufacturing Systems Engineering process, thank to new company and wide-company organizational structures supported by Plantfaber approach;
- to verify second order benefits due to Plantfaber role of "missing link" between product design process and production management process.

The pursuing of PLANTFABER project objectives entails the following jobs:
- a conceptualization work for the theoretical development of the manufacturing system descriptive method, for the study of system architecture and the re-design of the MSE process;
- a software production activity for the development of the software system prototype;
- a real user involvement to support the MSE process analysis and to practically test tools and methodologies developed inside the project.

Prototypical installations of the Plantfaber workbench will be installed at partners' sites. They will serve simultaneously as demonstration environments and also as test-bed for the integration with other software systems and specialized design tools.

Moreover, the consortium intends to encourage third-party software suppliers to integrate their software tools with the Plantfaber system. This strategy will be achieved by the adoption of an "open system" philosophy during the design and development of the Plantfaber workbench.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Via V. Veneto 12
21040 Morazzone (Va)

Participants (5)

Candy Elettrodomestici S.R.L.
Via Privata Eden Fumagalli
20047 Brugherio
Consorzio Universitaro In Ingegneria per la Gestione D'impresa (Mip) - Politecnico diMilano
P.zza Leonardo Da Vinci 32
20133 Milano
Convey Satafim
Pol.ind.las Monjas
28850 Torrejon De Ardoz
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung
Holzgartenstrasse 17
70174 Stuttgart
Lipro Gmbh Logistik und Information fuer Die Produktion
Landsberger Str. 229
12623 Berlin