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European Union project "ARUM" to provide flexibility for small-lot producers and production ramp-up of new, complex products

The growing competition, a high demand for individual and highly sophisticated products and a shorter innovation cycle are leading to a rising number of ramp-ups especially in small batch production. Daily challenges such as late changes and missing maturity of high technology products and processes create significant risks. The occurring risks are by no means comparable to large batch production. Consequently, a new ramp-up approach is required.

The ARUM (Adaptive Production Management; www.arum-project.eu) research project aims at improving planning and control systems for the manufacturing of complex products in small lot production, such as aircraft and aircraft interiors. ARUM will do this by decreasing the risks of product immaturity and production disruptions, ICT improvements for manufacturing systems and increasing the integration of engineering into production process. The ARUM team will identify mitigation strategies to respond faster to unexpected events and will provide ICT systems and tools to enable this.

Key requirements of modern manufacturing include support for complex products, scalability, integrated control of factory assets, production optimisation on factory and workshop levels, cost effective interoperation of information across legacy systems, and flexible service-oriented models. ARUM provides answers to this challenge through its novel techniques and unique partnership.

The approach is based on a new generation of service-oriented enterprise information platforms integrating service-based architecture and knowledge-based multi-agent systems (MAS). A MAS combined with a service architecture will improve performance and scalability. The solution integrates multiple layers of sensors, legacy systems and agent-based tools for beneficial services like learning, quality, risk and cost management. The outcome will be a software solution which serves as an early warning and risk mitigation system for the production ramp-up.

ARUM is strongly end-user driven and the results will be tested on industrial use cases with a focus on aircraft and aircraft interiors. The solution will be validated in a real industrial environment by industrial partners and benchmarked against today's ICT solutions. A test-bed will be established for the design and testing of ARUM systems and will be opened for dissemination and demonstration.

ARUM is a collaborative research project within the EU's 7th Framework Programme and part of the European Research Initiative "Factory of the Future". The overall budget contribution to the initiative amounts to €1.2 billion between 2010 and 2013, to be shared between the European Commission and the private sector. ARUM started in September 2012 and will last for 37 months involving 14 partners form seven EU countries plus Russia. The participants are technology providers (TIE, Certicon, Smart Solutions, Almende, P3 Ingénieurs), research organisations (Cologne University of Applied Sciences, University of Manchester, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems of the National Technical University of Athens, Czech Technical University of Prague, University of Hagen) and user organisations (EADS, Airbus and Modular Galley Systems), all led by the managing partner, EADS Innovation Works.

Press release issued by Airbus Group Innovations on November 5, 2012


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