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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DIVERSITY (Cloud Manufacturing and Social Software Based Context Sensitive Product-Service Engineering Environment for Globally Distributed Enterprise)

DIVERSITY Report Summary

Project ID: 636692
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DIVERSITY (Cloud Manufacturing and Social Software Based Context Sensitive Product-Service Engineering Environment for Globally Distributed Enterprise)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The DIVERSITY project aims at developing an engineering environment to support small and medium sized enterprises changing their business model by extending their products with services and adopting a mass-customization paradigm.
Companies are increasingly looking to follow the trend towards the production of highly customized product-services. To allow a successfully transition, companies need to involve their customers and all the other significant stakeholders since the first phases of the design process and provide them with the ability to co-design product-service(s).
In this context, DIVERSITY addresses the need of modern enterprises for a new cloud-based environment, which allows a multi-directional exchange of knowledge, and dynamic and real time feedback loops among company functions (such as product design, service design and manufacturing) and among all actors of the value chain distributed all over the world (customers, suppliers and other organizations).
Therefore, the project proposes to meet the requirements of manufacturing enterprises to allow for effective product/service design and engineering by a proper combination of classical product engineering tools, cloud manufacturing and social software solutions (see Figure).
DIVERSITY aims at developing a new methodology for concurrent collaborative product-service design and a service-oriented engineering environment. The project's results are divided into a set of methods and a set of tools, or an ICT platform. DIVERSITY will provide a fine balance between methodological and toolset results. The objective behind this balance is to provide companies not only with a powerful ICT solution, but also with the methodological tools that will allow them to realise significant, sustainable and long-lasting changes in their operations and business models.
DIVERSITY is a three-year project, which will provide gradual and intermediate results building into the final solutions. The project has three major milestones, at the end of each year, which also coincide with the achievement of technology readiness levels 4, 5 and 6.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first half of the project, the consortium focused on defining the overall concept, specifying and developing initial results and elaborating the business cases and assessment methodology for the project's results.
During the first year of the project, the work was mainly focused on work package 1, Requirements Analysis, State of the Art and Concept, to achieve technology readiness level 4.
The project started by updating a state-of-the-art analysis in relevant topics such as lean PSS design, intelligent search, opinion mining and key performance indicators. We have made a detailed analysis of state of research, state of practice and state of market in each of these topics. As a result, we have published the deliverable D1.1 State-of-the-Art Update, which includes a summary with the main gaps identified.
In parallel, we defined how the three industrial companies in the consortium could most benefit from the project's results, and elicited their requirements upon our solutions. We have also looked at companies outside the consortium, to ensure we're developing solutions generic enough for a wider audience.
The state-of-the-art gaps and the industrial requirements were the main inputs for the concept development. We developed a detailed concept for the project's results that tries to bridge some state-of-the-art gaps, but also meets industrial expectations. This last issue is key in DIVERSITY, and we have achieved TRL4 by developing a proof-of-concept that was tested by the industrial companies in the consortium. As part of the proof-of-concept, we have tested three types of software: off-the-shelf solutions that can be re-used in our results to ensure they match our requirements; simple algorithm developments to test feasibility of some features; and mock-ups of graphical user interfaces.
In the beginning of month 9, and simultaneously with the final concept development, we initiated work in five different work packages, which cover research, development, integration and assessment.
DIVERSITY is developing a methodology to support lean PSS design in the scope of work package 2, an engineering environment as a software platform to support PSS design in the scope of work package 3, and a set of tools for context sensitivity, sentiment analysis and key performance indicators in the scope of work package 4. In each of these three work packages, we are specifying the results and developing an early prototype. These results will be published and tested until the end of the second year of the project.
In addition, we have detailed the three business cases in the consortium, defining how the companies will use the project's results and the necessary infrastructure for full adoption. This work helped us define test scenarios that will be used to assess the project's results.
During the whole duration of the project so far, we have created a comprehensive set of dissemination material, including our website, flyers, and presentations. The consortium has been active in producing scientific publications ensuring dissemination of initial research results to a wide audience. We have also been involved in clustering activities with other projects from the same call, trying to harmonize results and maximize our potential impact.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The project will develop specific results to fulfil the described high-level vision, namely:
1. New methodology for concurrent collaborative product-service design based on the knowledge shared across the value chain and the PSS life cycle, where lean-based product design paradigm, and specifically Set Based Concurrent Engineering (SBCE) approach, will be used, aiming to react to changing customer needs (mass customisation) and simultaneously optimise the lifecycle environmental footprint of the products / services; based on this methodology, a lean design support and visualisation tool will be developed supporting PSS designer in using feedback from both manufacturing and customers.
2. Service-oriented engineering environment for multidisciplinary PSS design based on real time sharing of knowledge among product design, service design and manufacturing within distributed enterprises based on a combination of cloud manufacturing and social software solutions (e.g. wiki solutions, social media networks), allowing for involvement of customers on the global market, both business and final-product, where a novel PSS ontology will be a key bonding element.
3. Set of software services to support context sensitive knowledge capturing and searching for design functionality and reusability as well as for context sensitive analysis of big volumes of data/knowledge gathered over the globally distributed customers, design, manufacturing and suppliers.
4. Method and tool to define and measure a set of KPIs for automatic monitoring of overall improvements of new products-services, improvement of sustainability and increase in customer satisfaction.

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