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Planning small medium enterprise networks


The PLENT project is performed by a consortium of seven independent partners and four associated partners of three EU countries: Italy, Spain and Greece. An Hungarian partner has jointed the consortium to expend and generalise the experience. The co-ordinating partner is Democenter, an Italian no-profit organisation constituted by several manufacturing SMEs and representing the most important regional enterprise associations and local administrations.

The project will develop a set of innovative software tools to support co-ordinated planning in networks of autonomous small-medium manufacturing enterprises. In this context, the most important problem is not the study of a sophisticated decision-making technique but the definition of a planning policy that is based on well defined, completely visible and strictly applicable rules. This is necessary to remove historical distrusts between enterprises traditionally in competition with each other, so as to reach the needed degree of confidence in the network organisation.

The project is subdivided into three main phases: network planning; software design, development and testing; system validation and tuning. The first experiment, carried out with the Italian network, aims at verifying the basic planning functionalities in an already constituted organisation. The second experiment, carried out with the Spanish network, aims at verifying the system's capability of coping with frequent interactions caused by duration variability of complex product phases. The third experiment, carried out with the Greek network, aims at verifying the global system performance with respect to a highly reconfigurable network.

The project results will be exploitable in three ways: via the user partners, mainly interested in extending the respective networks to increase offer variety and production capacity; via the intermediate users by intending to promote the adoption of this organisational paradigm by enterprise networks to be created; via the software developer by incorporating the resulting package into its software product line.

Funding Scheme

EST - Marie Curie actions-Early-stage Training


Democenter - Centre Servizi per la Diffusione dell'Automazione Industriale
Via Le Virgilio, 55
41100 Modena

Participants (7)

Asociacion de Investigacion Tekniker
Avda. Otaola 20
20600 Eibar
Axial Pump SpA
Via Mavora Gaggio Di Piano
41010 Modena
Danobats Coop Itda
Poligono Arriaga 21
20870 Elgoibar
Gruppo Formula SpA
Via Susa 31
10138 Torino
Ilme, Hellenic Institute of Logistics Management
L.posidonos Ave. 36
17675 P.FA Athens
Itcc Sa
Sapfous 143
17675 Athens
Mta Sztaki, Computer and Automation Research Institute
Kende 13-17
1111 Budapest