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INT-MANUS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 16550
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Germany

Manufacturing of the future is here now

Although automation in manufacturing has become relatively commonplace, its potential for evolution is great and was recently demonstrated by EU-funded researchers. The researchers created a software platform enabling active decision making, self-diagnosis and repair, and dynamic reconfiguration in a way that promises to revolutionise the field of manufacturing as a whole, significantly enhancing European competitiveness.
Manufacturing of the future is here now
The ‘Intelligent networked manufacturing system’ (INT-MANUS) project was initiated to address many of the problems faced by today’s manufacturers and dramatically enhance production processes.

The researchers developed the smart-connected-control platform (SCCP) incorporating a learning agent and virtual reality together with so-called mechatronics, the synergistic integration of mechanical and electrical engineering with intelligent computer control.

The resulting prototype SCCP was capable of proactive maintenance, self-calibration, dynamic reconfiguration and self diagnosis and healing. Human operators were integrated seamlessly into the maintenance and diagnostic process via augmented reality systems and hand-held computers. The workers were able to overlay important data with real parts and machines in the production process and to provide valuable information not easily available from the sensors. Intelligent robots moved goods throughout the plant on routes determined ‘just in time’ and customers designed their own products in the virtual environment with specifications again implemented ‘just in time’^L

In summary, the INT-MANUS project delivered a fully functional prototype SCCP that could easily be applied to any manufacturing plant and that promises to revolutionise the way production plants are run in the very near future, tremendously enhancing the competitiveness of European manufacturing.

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