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Team-based European Automotive Manufacture

Objective

Introduce key players in the automotive supply chain to the concepts and benefits of advanced communications and collaborative-working technologies.

Facilitate and promote virtual Teamworking across the extended enterprise covering automotive manufacturers, 2nd and 3rd suppliers and SMEs
Provide a heterogeneous network solution based both on broadband and narrowband communications addressing the needs of large companies as well as SMEs
Provide an open and heterogeneous application platform from high-cost high-performance workstation to low-cost PC thus meeting the needs of large companies as well as SMEs
Setup three Regional Centers one each in the UK, Italy and Ireland to provide on-going support to SMEs in communications and multimedia technologies
Improve the business process thereby reducing time to market
Investigate the impact on cultural and organisational issues including attitudes, working practices, management commitment and support and future roll-out plan
Work to date has reinforced the view that project TEAM offers great potential benefits to the European automotive industry in the areas of Virtual Teamworking across the whole supply chain
High level of user satisfaction on applications & quality of service
A set of results based both on ATM-WAN & Euro-ISDN trials
Economic Assessment of broadband trials & justification of evolution path to ATM
Feedback from SMEs on applications & services, and their future implementation strategy
Results of investigation into impact on organisation & working practices.
Expected Impact
World class automotive manufacturing is currently based on the team-working philosophies developed and proved by the Japanese in the 1980's. This approach involves creating multi-functional teams, empowering the "facts holders" giving them total authority for decision making, and the co-location of teams for high personal motivation.
Project TEAM proposes to preserve this "best practice", but eliminate the necessity for co-location thus enabling manufacturers to utilise European suppliers, SMEs and consultancy expertise irrespective of geographical constraints.


Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Main deliverables
Established a Common VIEW Model to facilitate & promote virtual Teamworking across the extended enterprise covering Automotive manufacturers, 2nd & 3rd tier suppliers and SMEs. Developed and trialled an application profile (including Product Library, Decision Support, Multimedia Conferencing and Messaging) and user interface. The network and applications platform were heterogeneous, based on both broadband and narrowband communications, from high performance workstation to low-cost PC, thus addressing the needs of large companies as well as SMEs.
Contribution to the programme
Introduced key players in the automotive industry supply chain to the concepts and benefits of advanced communications and collaborative working technologies. By eliminating the need for co-location , will enable manufacturers to use European suppliers, SMEs and consultancy expertise irrespective of geographical constraints.

Technical Approach
The Project has developed an initial Common View Model which reflects the aspirations of users in terms of communications, applications and organisational needs.

The communication requirements for TEAM applications have been specified to ensure affordable networks offering a good cost/benefit ratio and at the same time respecting bandwith and quality of service requirements. The network design and implementation are to match the latest outputs from standard bodies including ITU-T, ISO, ATM Forum and IETF. As part of the user requirements, special attention is being given to security and confidentiality issues. Collaboration with local National Hosts forms an integral part of the evaluation strategy.
The TEAM application profile (including Product Library, Decision Support, Multimedia Conferencing and Multimedia Messaging) and user interface are being developed taking into account current and emerging technologies e.g. Netscape 3, WWW, HTML, VRML and different viewing and conversion tools.
Summary of Trial
The project has planned a series of field trials, to be conducted with real users, at several locations in the UK, Italy and Ireland.

TEAM has two sets of user trials:
Initial evaluation, of three months, started concurrently in mid 1996 at all sites
Iterative evaluation, to be conducted at 11 sites in UK, Italy and Ireland, started in March 1997 and continues till the end of the project. In addition to continued user evaluation, the iterative evaluation includes a series of demonstrations to component suppliers, SMEs and senior management of the user partners. Necessary collaboration will be maintained with the local PNOs and National Hosts during trials. The trials include the measurement of critical performance parameters such as quality of service; response time; bandwidth requirements for different applications, individually and collectively; and impact on business processes, cultural and organisational changes. The user trials are planned to be based on a mixture of ATM and ISDN technologies.
Key Issues
Realisation of a heterogeneous communication infrastructure incorporating public ATM, public SMDS and public ISDN networks

Inter-operability between the TEAM-net and existing networks of the user partners including Ethernet and Token Ring LANs
Exploration of different hardware and software options to realise a secure network
Continued assessment of applications and adoption of "best in class" software tools for the final demonstrator
Development of business case including costs and benefits analysis and justification for roll-out into business
Continued development and population of Product Libraries in formats acceptable to end users.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Rover Group
Address
Building 117
Gaydon
United Kingdom

Participants (13)

Computervision
United Kingdom
Fiat
Italy
France Télécom Expertel
France
Address
25 Rue Des Jeuneurs
75002 Paris
Fraunhofer IGD
Germany
Key Plastics
United Kingdom
Loughborough University of Technology
United Kingdom
Address
The Elms Elm Grove
LE11 1RG Loughborough
Magneti Marelli SpA
Italy
Address
Via G. Griziotto 4
20011 Milano
SIEMENS AG
Germany
Address
Wittelsbacher Platz 2
Sligo Regional Technical College
Ireland
TRW
United Kingdom
UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO
Italy
Address

Trento
University of Technology Berlin
Germany
University of Warwick, WMG
United Kingdom