manufacturing - Pilot Results

The eManufacturing experiment executed a pilot in an industrial setting using the cross border network of Living Labs in the manufacturing domain. Thus, these experiments were focusing on:

  • Initiation and improvement of collaboration amongst selected transnational SMEs such that they can produce as well as consume each other’s' services.
  • Moreover, inter-SME activities that were stimulated to benefit all stakeholders (SMEs, Living Labs, and the local economy).
  • Together with SMEs the experiment also focused on development of additional, relevant services in the domain. That enabled assessment of the methods on involving SMEs as well as Cross Border Living Lab collaboration.

The successful implementation of the use cases was accompanied by strong cross-border partnership established between SAP and Ydreams, based on close weekly communication between technicians from both parties that successfully tackled integration obstacles and day-to-day problems, leading to a seamless solution that fulfilled the requirements at SMEs playing the service consumer role, namely Imeguisa and CENI based in Portugal.

SAP Future Factory Initiative


SAP Research Future Factory Dresden pilot (Germany) - Energy Monitoring Prototype

With a use case built at SAP Research in Dresden we were able to monitor and manage the energy consumption of production equipment at Future Factory. The technology used is based on smart meters to measure energy consumption and communication via different channels (Bluetooth, Zigbee, CC-Link). The smart meter connectivity was realized via an SAP Research Middleware for Device Integration (MDI) prototype. The energy consumption data were made visible with an "Energy Dashboard” that uses SAP Business Objects Xcelsius or Microsoft Silverlight. Having this first use case in place it was a perfect technological basis to start with transnational activity as committed per our description of work.

Future Factory1 Future Factory2

Figure 1: Industrial Smart Meter collecting energy consumption data of an milling machine at SAP Research Future Factory © SAP AG, 2011
Figure 2: SAP Research Energy Dashboard Prototype based on Microsoft Silverlight; © SAP AG, 2011


CENI pilot (Portugual) - asset viewing in a model plant

At CENI the application´s objective was to monitor several workstations with specific characteristic and in a versatile environment. To achieve this objective, each workstation is equipped with an electronic interface module that reads the device default protocol and communicates through Bluetooth to the central server. This solution intends to provide workstation´s mobility in a factory environment. The Portuguese SME YDreams built an adapter for CENI which was implemented on top of the SAP Research MDI prototype.

Future Factory1 Future Factory2

Figure 3: Industrial loader machine @CENI used for the experiment
Figure 4: Data model and architecture realized for the asset viewing use case


Imeguisa pilot (Portugual) - energy monitoring in a productive environment

At Imeguisa, energy consumption monitoring was realized with three smart energy meters. One meter got connected to the main electricity board through which all the machines are powered and two meters are connected to the two key machines; a CNC milling machine and a Pipe forming machine individually. The data got collected from smart meters which were provided by ISA, another Portuguese SME. These data were then cached and made available to web service agents. Furthermore the agents then processed and saved the information in a database. The SME YDreams built also an adapter for the machines at Imeguisa which was again implemented on top of SAP Research MDI prototype.

Future Factory1 Future Factory2

Figure 5: CNC milling machine @ Imeguisa
Figure 6: Energy monitoring UI specifically developed for the use case


Stakeholder’s impact – SMEs

We explicitly decided that the IT setup of the pilots are very similar to enforce a rapid learning curve on the technical site. The SMEs should rather focus on cross border activities with their business partners from the other countries ina "lessons learned mode" which makes it easier if you can compare and then respectively improve your actions in a 2nd, 3rd,... iteration. So we were looking into aspects how to improve the knowledge exchange between the WP partners. As a core finding we jointly identified requirements for a collaboration platform that specifically supports cross border businesses for SMEs in the area of manufacturing industries. This research work and the interaction between the different stakeholders was the starting point for the conceptual design of a collaboration platform. The SME impact for that collaboration platform was their feedback which collaboration areas should be incorporated into such a platform e.g: a) Sales & Marketing for Services and Product, b) Service / Product Contracting, c) Installations & Maintenance for Services and Poducts, d) Customer Service & Support, e) Field Service Management, f) Warranty & Claim Management, g) Logistics & Finance and others. These business oriented collaboration aspects are key to run the SME business cross borderly.