SmartFactory - A Vision becomes Reality

Detlef Zühlke
In: Keynote Papers of the 13th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing (INCOM 09). IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing (INCOM-09), 13th, June 3-5, Moscow, Russian Federation, ICS / RAS, 6/2009.


In 1991, Mark Weiser described the vision of a future world under the name of Ubiquitous Computing. Since then, many details of the described vision have become reality: Our mobile phones are powerful multimedia systems, our cars computer systems on wheels, and our homes are turning into smart living environments. All these advances must be turned into products for very cost-sensitive world markets in shorter cycles than ever before. Today, the resulting requirements for design, setup, and operation of our factories become crucial for success. In the past, we often increased the complexity in structures and control systems, resulting in inflexible monolithic production systems. But the future must become "lean" - not only in organization, but also in planning and technology! We must develop technologies which allow us to speed up planning and setup, to adapt to rapid product changes during operation, and to reduce the planning effort. To meet these challenges we should also make use of the smart technologies of our daily lives. But for industrial use, there are many open questions to be answered. The existing technologies may be acceptable for consumer use but not yet for industrial applications with high safety and security requirements. Therefore, the SmartFactoryKL initiative was founded by industrial and academic partners to create and operate a demonstration and research test bed for future factory technologies. Many projects develop, test, and evaluate new solutions. This presentation describes changes and challenges, and it summarizes the experience gained to date in the SmartFactoryKL.



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IFAC-INCOM-Plen-Zu-Paper - final.pdf