Covid-19 has shown that unpredictable events can disrupt supply chains, demand, and induce work restrictions, which can be detrimental to the manufacturing sector, significantly affecting growth. Especially, when medium or high-volume manufacturing is considered, resilience can only be achieved through rapid reconfigurability and digitalization. Rapid reconfigurability must be addressed in all production levels, ranging from the factory to the machinery and to each individual process step, as well as the interaction with the supply chain.
The objective of R3GROUP is to develop and demonstrate resilience strategies for reconfiguration. The project will carry out industrial demonstrators in diverse manufacturing sectors (automotive, fabricated metal products, rubber and plastics, wearing apparel, home appliances) facing various reconfiguration issues (scale up or down, introduction of new suppliers, accommodation of multiple product variants, resilience to unforeseen events), engaging end-users operating with different business models (B2B, B2C) and on different positions in the value chain (OEM, Tier 1).
R3GROUP will follow the 6 reconfigurability principles to develop technologies in 5 pillars towards resilience through reconfigurability:
- release an AAS-enabled platform for horizontal and vertical integrability for reconfigurability;
- develop production tools and technologies, through the reconfigurable machine tool concept;
- deploy a digital toolkit supporting rapid evaluation of reconfiguration impacts, using multi-level digital twins;
- integrate innovative tools to capture the trigger for reconfiguration that provide awareness on the status of the rest of the value chain (supply chain, market);
- multi-level monitoring, control, and quality assessment to mitigate the reconfiguration impact.
Finally, R3GROUP will develop human-centred solutions and put special focus on reskilling to support the adoption of novel technologies.