Coordinator: University of Patras – Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems & Automation (LMS), Greece
Contact person in the research groups:
Maximilian Steinmeyer M. Sc. (CiP)
Erkut Sarikaya M. Sc. (TEC)
Augustino Doan M. Sc. (TEC)
European industry is confronted with serious challenges that are difficult to predict. Many of the European industrial companies operate with global supply chains and sales markets. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular demonstrated the vulnerability of these industrial companies. With the Ukraine war, the next major disruption occurred shortly after the first appearance of COVID-19. Further disruptions can occur at any time. In addition, legal requirements (e.g. with the German Supply Chain Act) are also increasing and global political tensions are rising. The new EU research project FLEX4RES is therefore researching how the industry can become more resilient and at the same time more competitive.
The objective of Flex4Res is to link several factories of a production network via Gaia-X compliant data spaces in order to enable reconfigurations of the production network and to make the value chains resilient. The necessary technological approaches and standards to build a unified data ecosystem in Europe are being researched by the TEC research group and then transferred into application. Building on this, the CiP research group is researching resilient value stream management and the linking of lean principles with the topic of resilience.
At the beginning of the project, the requirements from four industrial pilot projects at the companies voestalpine High Performance Metals DIGITAL SOLUTIONS GmbH, Sidenor Steel Industry S.A., Hans Berg GmbH & Co. KG and Goimek S. COOP. An open framework for reconfigurable supply chains and production lines based on data spaces and the management shell is then developed. Then, a resilience assessment toolbox for early detection of reconfiguration needs is developed. Then a toolbox will be developed to enable these reconfigurations at the micro level (individual machines), meso level (production lines, production system) and macro level (entire value and supply chain). The developed toolboxes will first be tested in different resilience scenarios for learning factories of the participating universities and then rolled out in the four industrial use cases. The results obtained will be processed and disseminated. We are looking forward to working with a total of 17 partners, including research institutions from Spain, Germany, Austria and Greece as well as numerous industrial and technology companies from all over Europe.
This project has received funding from the European Union‘s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101091903. We thank for the opportunity to work on this project.