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Cloud Manufacturing and Social Software Based Context Sensitive Product-Service Engineering Environment for Globally Distributed Enterprise

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DIVERSITY (Cloud Manufacturing and Social Software Based Context Sensitive Product-Service Engineering Environment for Globally Distributed Enterprise)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2018-01-31

To meet requirements of mass customisation, the manufacturers of machines and equipment for production of mass customised products need powerful engineering environments to allow for multi-directional exchange of knowledge between product design, service design and manufacturing, as well as customers and other relevant organisations across the value chain, distributed all over the globe. Specifically, they need feedback from their business customers to whom they sell their equipment, as well as from the final-product customers. Cloud Manufacturing provides new possibilities for collaborative design of product-services within such distributed enterprise, easily adaptable to highly dynamically changing conditions under which enterprises are developing and manufacturing their product-services. On the other hand, tremendous experiences in social software solutions offer new opportunities for enterprises to capture and share experienced based knowledge among all actors across the value chain. Such enormous amount of knowledge to be gathered and shared under dynamically changing conditions, with wide spectrum of actors involved, having different expertise and working conditions/cultures, ask for effective context sensitive solutions for knowledge capturing and analysis. Companies are increasingly looking to follow the trend towards the production of highly customized product-services. To allow a successfully transition, companies need to involve their customers and all the other significant stakeholders since the first phases of the design process and provide them with the ability to co-design product-service(s). In this context, DIVERSITY addresses the need of modern enterprises for a new cloud-based environment, which allows a multi-directional exchange of knowledge, and dynamic and real time feedback loops among company functions (such as product design, service design and manufacturing) and among all actors of the value chain distributed all over the world (customers, suppliers and other organizations). Therefore, the project proposes to meet the requirements of manufacturing enterprises to allow for effective product/service design and engineering by a proper combination of classical product engineering tools, cloud manufacturing and social software solutions (see Figure).
DIVERSITY has produced two main results, following the three-year project:
1. DIVERSITY Methodology for Lean PSS Design supports companies in approaching design with a new perspective, approaching products and services in a holistic way. This methodology includes a comprehensive set of methods and guidelines.
2. DIVERSITY Platform includes an engineering environment and a set of tools that implement the methodology developed to support PSS design. The engineering environment is implemented using cloud technology and includes security and visualisation functionalities. The set of tools includes components for conceptualisation and design, extension of PDM/PLM systems, context sensitivity, intelligent search, sentiment analysis and KPIs Assessment.
These two main results include a more comprehensive set of exploitable results produced throughout the project:
- Engineering Environment and Design Tools Bundle: drives the creative design process of a PSS, defining the best offer based on customer needs (the Product-Service Concept Tree), and supports the detail design of a PSS considering both service (the Service Delivery Process Modelling tool) and product features enabling a specific ability (Lean Design Rules tool), starting from the definition of Customer’s needs. It allows users to consider product and related service integrated, understanding what kind of PSS the market needs before putting it on the market, avoiding failures and introducing only innovative and forefront solution.
- PSDM/PSLM Tools: A Web Application that gives access to the customer enterprise system with the aim to manage product data, focusing on PDM/PLM systems, which contain all the detailed information about products. These tools support the extension of selected PDM/PLM to address product-service aspects and the integration and extensions of conventional PDM/PLM tools, usually focused on the product design, in including the design of the service part of the PSS.
- Intelligent Search: provides a context sensitive search engine, capable of tapping several data sources within the company. This includes a user centric ontology, context modelling, monitoring and extraction, on top of the intelligent search. The tools identify the activity/context the user is performing/using various SW tools and uses these to filter and adapt search results.
- Sentiment Analysis: A set of tools to analyse feedback from users from different social media platforms. The tools include components to model, extract and predict the opinion of specific PSSs.
- Social Feedback Extraction: Software that can also be used as service to gather data from social media, namely twitter, Facebook, amazon pages.
- KPI Assessment: A tool to model, monitor and assess KPIs in a company, enabling association with specific PSSs. KPIs can be used to monitor the current status of the company’s performances in relation to the PSS offerings, justifying the need to re-design a PSS. Through a multi-criteria decision-making, the KPIs tool guides the selection of the appropriate set of KPIs for a PSS during its design phase.
- PSS Ontology: Ontology for Product Service Systems (PSS) in discrete manufacturing industry to support collaborative PSS development involving a number of stakeholders, as well as semantic interoperability among SW tools used for PSS development and lifecycle management; the ontology in compliance with Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as an upper level ontology, allowing for interoperability with other ontologies developed (or to be developed) with industrial community.
Based on the overall results obtained during the project, particulalry for the three industrial companies involved, we expect other companies adopting DIVERSITY to attain the following benefits:
- Companies have shorter time-to-market because they have a structured and efficient way to design PSS.
- Rules and guidelines support companies in reducing waste and improving sustainability.
- Implementation of a knowledge sharing platform to store information across several actors and life cycle phases.
- Increase portfolio offering, entering servitization and mass customization.