Projects are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:
- Significant advance in modular technologies for flexible manufacturing operations, which respond to disrupted supply chains, or rapid changes in customer and societal demands;
- Transition of modular technology to sustainable production for varying batch sizes, including single lots, with a clear integration of control and decision-making strategies at different levels and throughout the supply chain;
- Improved understanding among industrial users, including SMEs, of how to organise and control reconfigurable manufacturing systems built from modules with defined interfaces, including quality assessments, environmental impact, energy use, end-user involvement and business models.
Modularity of a production system is crucial for flexibility and to allow for varying the production according to needs and circumstances by introducing, changing, and removing different process steps. While the concept of modularity is not new, there is still a vast range of production steps that cannot be considered modular, and the ones that can be considered as such are not necessarily suitable for current demands nor to be considered as a part of sustainable production regimes.
The projects under this topic need to address the following aspects:
- Propose and develop new production modules that cover processes that are not currently readily available on the market and go beyond the current state of the art with a clear alignment of customer and workers’ needs including taking into consideration biases and gender dimension;
- Create interfaces based on open-source protocols that allow for easily integration of modules in existing lines and with other modules or production elements;
- Create industrial strategies on how to use modularity, including its related service models, to reduce energy consumption and environmental footprint, and demonstrate these in a relevant environment;
- Develop business models that demonstrate the potential of the modular technologies to be transferred from one specific manufacturing sector to several others;
- Support training and knowledge transfer to relevant parts of the workforce.
Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination.
Research must build on existing standards or contribute to standardisation. Interoperability for data sharing should be addressed. Additionally, a strategy for skills development should be presented, associating social partners when relevant.
All projects should build on or seek collaboration with existing projects and develop synergies with other relevant European, national or regional initiatives, funding programmes and platforms.
This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership Made in Europe.
Specific Topic Conditions:
Activities are expected to start at TRL 4 and achieve TRL 6 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.
Co-programmed European PartnershipsSocial sciences and humanitiesArtificial IntelligenceDigital Agenda