The objective of the project is to develop a low-cost CIM system which can be used in the short-term planning and control of manufacturing processes. Real-I-CIM will provide advanced management techniques supported by low-cost, open, state-of-the-art IT at shop-floor level that will neither require any change to existing production equipment nor enforce a particular type of organisation of the enterprise.
The project will make available to SMEs technologies previously known and affordable only at larger companies, while making up for the deficiencies of existing CIM solutions for SMEs. Results will include:
- advanced tools for scheduling and control, such as on-line exception handling scheduling integrated with schedule optimisation and leitstand tools
- a process condition monitoring tool set, providing user customisable advanced quality management, fault diagnosis and predictive maintenance modules
- a real-time information link bridging the gap between management and the shop floor
- an integrated environment supporting cooperative software applications, with both information (database) and control links (message passing)
- novel interfacing capabilities with existing systems, supported both at the IT level (networks, data bases, etc.) and at the manufacturing information semantic level (compliance with standards).
- the availability of shop floor real-time information of key interest for the implementation of lean production techniques (for example, activity-based costing, WIP tracking, etc), as well as for the timely updating of user-defined performance indexes needed by management or executive information systems.
Two sites have been selected in different Union countries and different industrial sectors. Other potential user industries will be involved in the specification, design and evaluation of the product as part of an interest group associated with the project.
At the end of the project, two products will be available for exploitation:
- a generic shop-floor CIM system, customisable by system integrators for use in different industries
- a customised version for the automotive and the shoe manufacturing industries.