Feedback mechanisms Across the Lifecycle for Customer-driven Optimization of iNnovative product-service design


The undergoing transformation in our current socio-economic models, led by the advent of emerging technologies, has changed the relation of customers to products and services. Customers play no longer a passive role in the product and service development process as they express their product and service experiences and opinions through several channels such as discussion forums, blogs, chat, idea voting, and more. In addition, sensor systems in combination with products incorporated in the Internet of Things (IoT), are becoming increasingly common.

The potential endless amounts of available information offer a rich ground for value creation in the product-service innovation chain. In this context FALCON envisions to provide a framework to enable the realization of new products and value-adding services, resulting from user-experiences and product and related services usage; undertaken with the principles of sustainability and social responsibility.

FALCON will create impact through the following objectives:

  • First the project will address product-service information collection through collaborative intelligence and Product Embedded Information Devices.
  • Second, it will enable new mechanisms for product-service knowledge representation, exploitation, openness and diffusion.
  • Third, it will strengthen collaboration and new product-service development through new feedback and feed forward mechanisms in the product life-cycle.
  • Fourth, FALCON will explore manufacturing intelligence to support innovative product-services design and finally FALCON will improve product-service lifecycle assessment approaches through the real-time collection of product-service usage information and related experiences.

The project is driven by a consortium of highly recognized researchers (BIBA, EPFL, TU Delft ), experienced solution providers (UBITECH, Holonix, Softeco, i-Deal) and industrial companies (Arcelik, Philipps, Dena Cashmere, DATAPIXEL, MEWS Innovation, & Isadeus).

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Start date: 01-01-2015
End date: 01-01-2018
Total budget - Public funding: 5 098 268,00 Euro - 4 594 973,00 Euro
Call topic: Innovative product-service design using manufacturing intelligence (FoF.NMPB.2014.5)
Twitter: @FalconH2020
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Economic sustainability Flexibility
Circular economy Environmental sustainability
      Comment: FALCON will contribute to the transition towards new generations of products allowing a stage of contemporary production of new and old products. In this area, the provision of customisable product-services will allow "old" products to be extended with "new" services, enabling a contemporary production as described above. On the basis of product-usage information feedback, "old" products can be evolved throughout their lifecycles to incorporate changing customer requirements without the need for ramping up new product production facilities.
      Comment: FALCON will support the longevity of physical product-service components by providing methods and tools to enable new product services for "old" core physical products throughout their lifecycles.

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Resource efficient, sustainable products
      Comment: By developing a novel, integrated approach to providing customisable product-services based on product-usage information feedback, FALCON will contribute to lengthening the lifecycles of physical product-service components by being able to offer customers new and customised services around the core product throughout its use.

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Advanced and ubiquitous human machine interaction Information and communication technologies CAE models interoperability to allow fast and complete compl... Skills - Knowledge-workers
System modelling, simulation and forecasting Modelling and simulation for the (co-)design and management ... Data acquisition

        FALCON aims to gather Product Usage Information from Product Embedded Information Devices as well as customer feedback through the internet and social media. These information will be re-used directly to improve product-services. These product-service optimizations are carried out in a multidisciplinary way by stakeholders from different domains. FALCON further supports the process of product-service optimization by providing a collaboration platform.

        Comment: FALCON will implement novel feedback loops between e.g. the operators of medical and high-tech equipment with the designers and service providers, enabling new possibilities for services to improve the function of these devices/machines. By implementing mobile ("App") interfaces on top of the FALCON Virtual Open Platform, and enabling e.g. doctors to provide usage feedback on medical equipment or manufacturing operators to give feedback on metrology equipment, FALCON will contribute to advancing the state-of-the-art in this area.

        FALCON aims to provide methodologies and approaches for representation of design knowledge on the one hand and additionally for forecasting and simulation mechanism. The representation of design knowledge will be based on existing standards and the developments dedicated to the Rule Interchange Format, which has been developed within the FP7 LinkedDesign project. Furthermore, FALCON supports the optimization of Forecasting and Simulation mechanism. By using real-life data gathered from Product Embedded Information Devices, sensors or from social media (blogs, twitter, facebook etc.) throughout the whole lifecycle optimized results are expected in order to find the best solutions for new generation product-services.

        The FALCON Open Virtual Platform aims to support different domains dedicated to the whole lifecycle of products. In order to achieve this goal the Virtual Open Platform will include an ontology enabling different domains to exploit the FALCON VOP. Dedicated to the field of new product design the Rule Interchange Format will be further developed in order to represent design knowledge in a neutral format. This way also general valid knowledge (such as Moment of Inertia etc.) can be re-used in different contexts of product design.

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Collaborative and decentralized application architectures an...
      Comment: The FALCON Virtual Open Platform will be designed as a distributed, multi-system platform consisting of a number of different tools and systems. These include modules for: 1) integrating different types of Product Embedded Information Devices and sensors, 2) extracting information from different social media sources (semantic analysis of unstructured text for blogs and forums, sentiment analysis tools for twitter, etc.), 3) integrating data from third party enterprise systems (e.g. CAD, PLM, ERP systems) 4) provide collaborative, cross-disciplinary design and decision-support for stakeholders involved in the product-service lifecycle. FALCON will implement a semantic middleware to integrate these components, based on the development of the FALCON ontology which will represent concepts of the product-service lifecycle.

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Manufacturing strategies
From Product/Services Systems (product centric approach) to ...
      Comment: The FALCON Virtual Open Platform will provide European companies and SMEs (50% of the FALCON business scenarios are driven by SMEs) with tools and instruments to facilitate continuous re-shaping processes based on novel product-usage information feedback loops. FALCON will furthermore enable collaboration and communication among the different actors of the product-service value chains by providing a collaborative, cross-disciplinary design and decision-support tool. The product-usage information feedback loops investigated in FALCON will support especially SMEs to compete in the international markets with their niche solutions, by allowing them to more easily define and add innovative services to their value propositions based on the real and current needs of their customers.

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    Comment: ISO-STEP14649 (STEP-NC) is a machine tool control language. FALCON will take into account the STEP-NC standard since it will be able to store, manage and exchange control paths. I++ /DME is aiming to provide a definition of a standard common interface between application software and measurement equipment to guarantee interoperability between different suppliers. FALCON will consider this standard in order to address openness of the envisaged platform (OBJ2)
    In FALCON, current standards work will be taken into account and used when applicable. This includes normative standards as set by ISO and its national bodies which are of high importance to industrial companies. Additionally, standards proposed by some of the major influential de-facto standardization bodies like The Open Group, W3C, OASIS, and OMG will be assessed and added to our architectural framework. We will cooperate with major relevant commercial players, many of them already included in the FALCON consortium to establish joint standardization activities.
    At the architecture level, FALCON will endeavor to standardize communication protocols, data exchange formats, data exchange interfaces. At the content level, ontologies should be standardized, general / vertical, and domain-specific ontologies. We foresee first de facto standardization, driven by technology pick up from interested parties, supported by publicity and dissemination activities (e.g., W3C member submissions), supported then by founding or joining initiatives within OASIS for specific content vocabularies. The Open Group is a vendor- and technology-neutral consortium, whose vision of Boundary less Information Flow™ will enable access to integrated information within and between enterprises based on open standards and global interoperability. Standards for the sharing and reuse of lifecycle data, information and knowledge based on results developed in FALCON. The standards will be promoted through the Internet of Things (ITO) work group ( Several FALCON partners are among the initiators and main drivers of this work group.