EU RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PROGRAMME, HORIZON 2020, HAS GRANTED MORE THAN 8 MILLION OF FUNDING TO DIGITBRAIN, A NEW RESEARCH PROJECT STARTED ON 1st JULY 2020. DIGITBRAIN AIMS TO ENABLE SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED EUROPEAN PRODUCTION COMPANIES TO BENEFIT FROM AI-BASED MANUFACTURING AS A SERVICE (MaaS).
DIGITbrain ( www.digitbrain.eu) is an EU innovation program (coordinated by PNO Consultants) to give SMEs easy access to digital twins. A Digital Twin is a computer-based application/simulation that mimics the real production line of a company and runs in parallel with the real manufacturing process. Using this Digital Twin, companies can rationalise the manufacturing process, make predictions regarding expected machine failures and can predict maintenance needs, for example.
With the development of the “Digital Product Brain”, the DIGITbrain consortium wants to put this concept into a whole new level. The Digital Product Brain will store data about production lines/machinery used in factories throughout their entire life cycle (Figure 1). With all this information, utilised by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics applications, the researchers can customise and set up these machines whenever required for very specific manufacturing tasks. This will enable a new manufacturing model that they call “Manufacturing as a Service” (MaaS) that will support creating products on demand, in a much more specialised way and in potentially small quantities but in a still economically feasible way. For example, manufacturing a very specific furniture, for one specific purpose, and in a small quantity, the Digital Product Brain will be able to tell you where the closest and most suitable manufacturing facilities are and how those need to be customised to fit your purpose. It will set up and programme the machines to be able to produce the exact product you need.
Twenty highly innovative industrial solutions will be demonstrated by over 20 application experiments illustrating how the Digital Brain and its lower level services can be utilised to empower SMEs with MaaS. The Digital Marketplace provides the necessary graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in view of configuring and monitoring the Digital Brain for an industrial-product instance and will handle the access rights to the Digital Brain”s instances.
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