Zero-defect manufacturing strategies towards on-line production management for European factories

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Integration level interoperability

The Incremental Integration Strategy (IIS) provides a unified framework for all the EU distributed partners, to work on common principles. By following the IIS, we try to ensure that the integration will be successfully executed in a timely manner. It defines a number of factors to monitor and steps to execute.

The IIS manifests that the components are integrated and tested incrementally and tested to ensure smooth interaction among them. Every component is combined incrementally, i.e., one by one till all components are integrated logically to make the required application, instead of integrating the whole system at once and then performing testing on the end product. Integrated components are tested as a group to ensure successful integration and data flow between components. The process is repeated until all components are combined and tested successfully. The tests included in the IIS are:

  • Load test
  • Stress test
  • Spike test
  • Endurance test
  • Scalability test
  • Volume test

Semantic/information interoperability

Semantic interoperability is desired in the project. An ontology was created to describe all the entities participating in the project components, system, communication protocols as well as the entities given by the end users. The Context Aware algorithm was based on this ontology to create the operation rules for the system. The algorithm provided the essential information to other components about the implementation of the solution. For example, the Context Aware algorithm provided the Reverse Supply Chain with all the necessary information about the production line, the production stages, the return levels and then the RSC was able to create a set of rules to implemented by the end user.

Data/object model interoperability - Data exchange formats - APIs

The data exchange format throughout the project's components was JSON. JSON lightweight, easy for humans to read and write it and provides all relevant information in a formatted way. It is also easy to change to include further fields when necessary or to be restructured for other components. XML was also used as data exchange format. XML also has the same characteristics with JSON in regards to easiness and accessibility. An example of one of the JSON formats used the project is given below to describe the prediction outputs:

{"holRepoId":3621,"eventDate":1545061853990,"eventDateString":"1545061853990","asset":"Tresky machine","predictedGlueVolume":0.267 ...

Connectivity & network interoperability – communication protocols

During the integration phase the same communication protocols were used: HTTP and AMQP for the data exchange. Also there is Wi - Fi connection for integration the various components and their updates on premises or on cloud during the integration process of the system. Finally, FTP was used during the integration phase for quick transfer of files on the shop floor premises.

APIs and Integration Protocols

The IIS and the Integration plan of the Z-Fact0r solution were based on the same APIs and protocols as the data exchange in the system. There were no new APIs designed for the integration process and the integration protocol implemented was derived by the IIS and the Integration plan of the Z-Fact0r system.