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RI-MACS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 16938
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Italy

Emerging technologies for better automation

The future of manufacturing in Europe relies heavily on its ability to embrace radical innovation in industry. Challenges call for rapid responses to ever-changing market demands, time-to-market pressure, and plant and equipment costs.
Emerging technologies for better automation
Leveraging innovation in the information technology (IT) domain is critical for the development of innovative manufacturing plants and the processes they employ. However, an increasing gap has been recorded between the advent of new ideas and products in this domain and their application in manufacturing plants.

The 'Radically innovative mechatronics and advanced control systems' (Ri-macs) project aimed to bridge this gap by making manufacturing plants and equipment more adaptable and reconfigurable. The EU-funded project sought to realise this through the analysis and implementation of emerging technologies. These include embedded systems, services-oriented applications, virtual engineering design methods and wireless technology for improved management of plant operation costs.

Activities focused on defining, developing and introducing radically innovative manufacturing technologies to the industrial automation field. The technologies investigated all conform to standards of open architecture, and feature state-of-the-art information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as modular mechatronics and virtual engineering environments.

Ri-macs worked to extend the use of networked embedded intelligence toward real-time production control and automation so as to enable new product ranges and services. Project achievements were demonstrated and promoted within relevant industrial sectors and academic domains through publications, training opportunities, standardisation and industrial exploitation. Results now offer customers the best ICT technology for applications in the industrial automation field.

Positive project outcomes mean Ri-macs-based solutions and continuing development of related innovative technologies: these are available for promotion to customers. Successes in this area promises a number of benefits for European automation solution providers, including increased competitiveness and operations thanks to reduced times and costs.

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