The long-term goal of this project was to develop an approach to a post mass-production paradigm. This is a paradigm which recognises the imbalances caused by the present global manufacturing environment - the growing scarcity of natural resources, the problem of environmental destruction, and the issue of regional trade imbalances. It also recognises the growing need for flexibility in production and product configuration leading towards integrated networks of producers and suppliers.
To support this long-term goal, this Test Case developed systematisation of knowledge for design and manufacturing and the concept of the virtual factory.
The systematisation of functional knowledge is aiming to build soft machines - artifacts considered beneficial to society and to the environment and designed to cover all stages in the product life from initial concept to final disposal.
The concept of the virtual factory to generate dynamic product-specific product-lines for configurable products with functional knowledge was developed and demonstrated.
Specific steps were taken to ensure both a unified approach to the long-term goal and a balanced joint effort across the regions - in particular, a continuous inter-regional exchange of researchers who will form the core of the overall research effort was put in place. In addition to this, international workshops disseminated research results to partners in all regions.
W12 7DX London
CB2 2RU Cambridge
63069 Offenbach Am Main