The ability to customize mass-produced consumer products is vital to the growth of today's manufacturing companies. However, modifying existing manufacturing processes to produce custom output is a major challenge. One solution is to create a digital twin of the factory and model manufacturing processes to enable virtual production management. When combined with a modular organization of the factory floor, this digital twin can be used to reconfigure production lines, making them faster and more agile and rendering processes more efficient. A digital twin can reduce the time it takes to reconfigure a production line by for example up to 75% for interactive displays, up to 50% for cosmetic packaging, aeronautics components, and 3D printing, and by up to 30% for razors and industrial modules.
The EU DIMOFAC project will bring manufacturing companies digital modelling and reconfiguration solutions, a network of pilot production lines, "flagship" factories, and Digital Innovation Hubs offering R&D and tech-transfer services to support the validation and testing of the processes developed. A total of six industrial demonstrators will be implemented on project partners' (Philips, Sculpteo, Albéa, VDL, Schaltag, and Eire Composites) production lines. The demonstrators will integrate in particular tools developed by the CEA, including CIVA for in-line quality control using automated non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques and, mostly, Papyrus for the functional digital twin of manufacturing production lines.
A number of CEA technology platforms are involved in the project, including the Additive Factory Hub (AFH), FFLOR, PICTIC, SMART FACTORY KL, and MANUHUB@WG.
The DIMOFAC project brings together a consortium of 30 partners from across Europe, and is coordinated by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). The official project launch took place on November 6 and 7, 2019 at the CEA campus in Grenoble, France.
DIMOFAC will receive €14 million in funding from the European Commission under contract no. 870092.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.