The 4P Factory e-lab

Challenges of the 4P Factory

A new industrial revolution has started: the Factory of the Future is about to bring individual orders to high volume product lines, by supporting constant re-organization and product-driven manufacturing. In addition to the transfer of goods, it is conditioned by the efficient sharing, transfer and use of knowledge throughout the production line.

Top teams worldwide are performing focused and interdisciplinary research, gathering precious experience, producing disruptive innovation to enable the rapid embodiment of this revolution in the heterogeneous, rapidly evolving world of tomorrow’s Factory. It is therefore of critical importance that a structure being able to foster cross-disciplinary research AND innovation for the 4P factory supports and structure the current efforts of the community. The complex system approach provides a deep analytical framework to understand behaviors and shape solutions for the Industry of the Future.

elab objectives

The objective of this e-lab is to bring the power of complex systems to the factory floor: solutions for industrial engineering, economical ecosystems, and numerical tools will be gathered and referenced in a single place. Software, Data, Pedagogical resources and platforms will enable researchers, but also the industry, to get immediate advantage of the last advanced of complex systems.

The Future Factory is built by the interconnection of following elements:

  • The cyber-physical system, ie. computer-driven manufacturing robots and machines
  • The Internet of Things: each material and product becomes addressable
  • The Internet of Services: the factory becomes integrated in a top-down way (from the production line to management) and in a transversal way (from suppliers to customers)
  • The Internet of Humans: From to customers to designers, every stakeholder is integrated in the control loops of the factory

The current research frameworks are defined:

  • By the H2020 program and EFFRA association: focus is on the development of advanced processes, new materials, tight interconnection between enterprises, simulation tools, and training knowledge workers
  • By national or private organisms like the BMBF in Germany or the Gimelec in France. Key blockers identified by the BMBF are: security, lack of norms, missing competencies, insufficient network infrastructure, and cost. Core stakes listed by the Gimelec are: sensors, control/command systems, connected robots, suitable software libraries, logistics, cybersecurity, energetic cost.

Operational Objectives

The operational objectives of this e-lab are:

  • Creating contacts between academic partners for enabling publications and join projects in the domain of complex systems for the industry
  • Creating contacts between academic and industry partners for enabling join projects
  • Publishing research, technical reports and technical recommendations on the subject of the e-lab
  • Defining a training curriculum for Complex Systems for the Industry, and gathering open resources for making this curriculum available to the broad public
  • Setting up a gathering of software libraries for the Factory of the Future
    Creating a who’s who of researchers and practitioners active in the field of the 4P Factory, available for members.

A monthly online meeting, as well as 2 workshops per year will support the implementation of this program.

The particularity of this e-lab is:

that is goal is to foster research AND innovation by creating suitable conditions for technology transfer between the academia and the industry, and between enterprises
that participation is open to industrial partners with membership agreement.

You will also find this information on the Wikiversity page of the 4P Factory e-lab.

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