The manufacturing paradigm has shifted from an era of mass-production to an era of mass-customisation. Factories have to produce at the same pace differentiated products in order to meet customer expectations. DIMOFAC project aims at enabling European factories to build more responsive production lines.
The DIMOFAC initiative is made up of 4 stages:
- The first stage of the project, involving six manufacturers from various industries (Albea Services, cosmetics packaging; Éirecomposites, Aerospace Components; Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Shavers; VDL Bus Modules, medical beds and telescope parts; Schaltag, interactive displays; Sculpteo, 3D printed parts) and part of the consortium, will aim at demonstrating the efficiency of the DIMOFAC Modular Factory Solution through pilot assembly lines.
- During the second stage, these manufacturers will act as factory “lighthouses” by setting up industrial general-purpose showrooms for companies interested in investing in modular and reconfigurable production lines.
- During the third stage, the consortium will provide modular production benchmarking services to more than a hundred existing companies belonging to the newly formed network of open pilot lines including in particular DIMOFAC partners and companies having expressed interest to offer services within the framework of DIMOFAC.
- Finally, DIMOFAC will extend its modular production benchmarking services to more than a thousand companies throughout Europe that are not part of the aforementioned network.
The initiative should have a major impact on productivity, energy efficiency and costs. It is for instance estimated that the DIMOFAC Modular Factory Solution will enable plants to:
● Reduce by 15% the time it takes to reconfigure their production lines.
● Decrease by 10% the resources (raw materials, energy, fluids, manpower) used for the production process.
● Diminish by 15% the overall cost of production.
Original descriptionThe digitalization of industry opens the path for mass customization but requires leveraging the existing manufacturing ecosystems and establishing a collaborative manufacturing environment.
DIMOFAC project will enable the modularity, adaptability and responsiveness of a production line by the integration of Plug-and-Produce modules in a Closed-Loop Lifecycle Management System, for continuous production adaptation, optimization and improvement, in a fast and flexible manner.
Reconfigurability is achieved by implementing a Digital Twin of each module and by deploying Digital Thread linking product and process dataflow, enabling seamless secure communication throughout the product lifecycle in factory and connecting it to the management systems in conformance to RAMI4.0.
The DIMOFAC consortium is issued from the leading European open initiatives on smart manufacturing, leveraging know-how from past and running EU projects such as INTEGRADDE, COMMUNION, HIMALAIA, BRAINPORT, iM²AM, MIDIH, MARKET 4.0 and building upon a pre-existing network of open DIHs and competence centers such as SMART FACTORY KL, PICTIC, FFLOR, AFH, MANUHUB@WG. Partners will further extend their services and networks to leverage on the increased flexibility brought by modular production systems.
Six industrial pilot lines, with multi-material manufacturing, additive manufacturing and assembly capabilities, will enable to demonstrate DIMOFAC Modular Factory Solution, with reconfiguration time reduction of production lines, up to 75% expected for interactive displays (SCHALTAG), 50% for cosmetic, aeronautic and additive manufacturing (ALBEA, EIRE COMPOSITES and SCULPTEO); 30% for shavers (PHILIPS) and industrial modules (VDL).
A key result will be the network of open pilot lines, offering R&T and services supporting process validation and implementation in EU SMEs, Midcaps and large organisations in different sectors, spreading knowledge, awareness and adoption of DIMOFAC Modular Factory Solution.
Factories of the Future Partnership - Made in Europe Partnership
Main challenges identified are:
- Training the existing workforce to use the new technologies
- Support the start-up stages to overcome initial reluctance due to lack of knowledge and too many aspects to integrate, so that industrials does not know how to start
- Reassure and support manufacturers to better embrace innovative Industry 4.0 technologies through test-before-invest approach
- Creating positive image about the manufacturing industry in the new generation so that they are open to join manufacturing domain
- Use of standardisation and healthy collaborations
DIMOFAC solution and underlying methodology supports the usage of standardised plug-and-produce modules (both hardware/ machines and software systems) to reduce configuration time, reduce wastage of resources and improve productivity