Skip to main content

Customer-driven design of product-services and production networks to adapt to regional market requirements

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ProRegio (Customer-driven design of product-services and production networks to adapt to regional market requirements)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-12-31

The project “Customer-Driven design of product-services and production networks to adapt to regional market requirements” aimed at developing manufacturing intelligence based product-services that will rigorously change the current way how customer requirements are addressed by manufacturing companies. The main challenges that were approached in the project are illustrated in Figure 1.
The development was based on four main objectives:
1. Costumer integration in the product development process
2. Development of integrated product and production adaptions regarding site-specific conditions and technology options
3. Innovative product-service design by incorporating customers in the order-fulfilment processes
4. Optimal design of production systems and allocation of production processes to production sites
The four objectives are enabled by the cloud-based ProRegio innovation platform covering altogether a set of 19 tools as illustrated in Figure 2. The platform is modular as the other tools can be connected to the PLM Frugal Data Framework.
All of the tools are applied within three industrial Use Cases. Use case 1 is related to Airbus, use case 2 to Arcelik and Gizelis Robotics and use case 3 to Comau as illustratded in Figure 3.
The unique selling proposition (USP) of the ProRegio platform is that it provides a co-evolution approach of products, production systems, and production networks integrating customer requirements and regional aspects as illustrated in Figure 4.
In WP1, Use Case-specific characteristics were defined and seven frugal innovation-oriented product-services and related business and financial models were defined and characterized. Regional market requirements were analyzed to validate the need for products and product-services regarding frugal innovation. To enable the integration of developed ICT-solutions, the related implementation requirements were gathered.
In WP2, conceptual methods and models to support the customer-driven product-service design process for regional market adaptation were developed. On that basis, innovative tools were designed to support interactions with all involved stakeholders in the customer-driven product-service design process. A PLM tool was developed and implemented as backbone of the ProRegio platform to support new data management needs required by the customer-driven product-service design.
In WP3, KPIs for a multi-objective assessment and evaluation of production networks and a generic modelling approach for production networks were defined. Based on the KPIs and on the modelling approach, methods for supplier selection and network design as well as for production network design and redesign were developed. Moreover, decision support tools for tactical global assignment of customer orders and operational local (re-)scheduling were devised. All of the developed tools were implemented as software prototypes and respective production network cooperation and coordination mechanisms were described.
In WP4, based on a tool called “Capability Assessment Tool”, tools, which enable to make use of knowledge on the process and system capabilities of distributed plants to properly allocate frugal product features and to exploit sensor-enabled innovative services in view of frugal innovation, were developed. Furthermore, a set of engineering rules useful to gather knowledge about implicit region-dependent system design requirements and to translate these requirements into feasible process sequence alternatives were implemented.
The general objective of WP5 was to specify, implement, and test the cloud-based ProRegio platform. First, the framework for the platform was developed and the data-model, the architecture and the interfaces were specified. Then, the cloud-based ProRegio platform, comprising the PLM tool, connectors to all other tools as well as the tools themselves, was implemented, tested and validated. The integrated platform enables the usage of and the interaction with all the tools as defined and specified in the previous work packages 2, 3, and 4.
The objective of WP6 was to test and validate the tools developed and implemented in the previous work packages within the three Use Cases. For Use Cases the different characteristics and features regarding different customer requirements were considered and respective tools were applied. In each Use Case KPIs have been assessed demonstrating the impacts and the achievements towards product-service orientation in the manufacturing industry. Finally, the ProRegio impacts were aggregated for the overall ProRegio project.
In WP7, regarding dissemination, a detailed plan was defined and updated on a regular basis. Besides, the website of the project was also set-up and a 'digital heritage' of the project results was provided at the end of the project. The scientific results of the project were published in conference and journal papers, and a project cluster was established on innovative product-service design. Several exploitation events for exploiting the final results of the project were organized. An exploitation plan related to the outcomes of the project was drafted and continuously updated.
Through product-services and related tools, which go beyond the state of the art, companies interact with their customers in the phase of product design (augmented reality tool for product configuration), proposal (Just-in-time specification), order fulfilment (visibility of production status, virtual customer inspection & feedback) and customer usage (augmented reality tool for remote maintenance, customer feedback tool for robotics and maintenance service, customer feedback tool for domestic appliances). Gathered feedback from customers can be analzed by the customer feedback management tool.
Furthermore, ProRegio aimed at providing novel cloud-based decision support tools to plan production systems and production networks which have to deal with a large variety of customized products. These tools can be used to identify the need and propose solutions for (re-)design of application case specific production systems and production networks. The tools include the supplier selection and network design tool, the network design and re-design tool, the plant capability assessment tool, the system design and optimization tool, the virtual factory tool and the rule-based engineering tool. Several decision support tools including the global order assignment tool, the local order scheduling for lines tool, and the local job shop (re-)scheduling tool enable an improved planning of customer-specific orders in production networks. All tools go beyond the state of the art when dealing with the complexity of a large variety of customized products and shorter reactions times.
Quantitative impact estimates were identified in the industrial Use Cases, demonstrating that the ProRegio approach will increase the competitiveness of companies by
- reduction of time-to-market of customized products, product-services and manufacturing system design solutions by up to 90%
- integration of region dependent features in product and system modules by up to 100%
- module re-use in product and production system design by up to 90%
- reduction of throughput times by up to 20%
- improvement of on-time delivery of the designed solutions by up to 100%
- reduction of maintenance time by up to 58%