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W1.3 Digital and Smart Factories

Chair: Prof. Engelbert Westkämper, Em. Director (retired in 2011), Fraunhofer IPA/ IFF and GSaME, University of Stuttgart

Information and Communication technologies are one of the enablers of Manufacturing systems and factories of the future. ICT for manufacturing was one of the main topics in the Manufuture Visions and road Maps. Future Visions are influenced by the innovations of ICT and applications in the technical development for manufacturing systems. Information is available everywhere and at any time and can be presented in a virtual system so, that even complex technical solutions are to understand in shortest time.

Digital products are a computerized representation of products. They are embedded in Product-Life-Cycle – Management Systems, which support all operations from begin to end of life. Understanding factories as products leads to digital factories, which represent all objects of factories in digital models. Factory data management systems support operations along the life-cycle of factories and their technical equipment. New IT-systems change the architecture by flexible and networking systems based on internet-technologies. Platforms for communication, whose primary market are the private sectors, have a potential for application in manufacturing industries. They allow the federation of dislocated information sources, flexible workflows and flexible configuration of the tools. On factory side all sensors and control units are elements of the shops and generate informations around events. This can be called “a smart factory”. Real time information combined with histories and future (simulation) make it possible to realize a new generation of IT-driven factories and enterprises.


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