MAYA consortium met on 13-14th December 2016 at Politecnico of Milan for a two-days meeting. Partners dedicated the first day to discuss about Work Package 2 development and the second day for updating on the project status and planning activities for the next months. 

We would like to thank all partners for the important participation in this meeting and POLIMI for their kind hospitality. 

Wolfsburg, Germany, September 27-28, 2016

The task 2.1 of the Maya project consists in the design and implementation of the CPS data model architecture. The team, composed by different experts belonging to MAYA consortium, participated in a workshop in Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen site at the end of September 2016. Thanks to the Volkswagen MAYA use case, the MAYA team joined a Volkswagen plant tour to get some impressions of the background of the use case. The team also visited a robot lab showing human-robot interaction which was built up by Volkswagen in cooperation with DFKI.

The objective of the workshop was twofold: on the one hand to exchange knowledge based on first results in the task and on the other hand to discuss a first draft of the MAYA meta data model. The MAYA meta data model shall capture a cyber physical system (CPS) itself as well as the CPS based simulation model. As a consequence, the MAYA meta data model will have to support static data (3D model, kinematics structure, etc.) and behavioural models, and, in addition, the aggregation of CPS into hierarchical structures to model full plant layouts. It also has to (i) consider the duality of CPS templates that constitute libraries of reusable components and CPS instances that represent real/simulated devices, and (ii) fulfil the requirements of both Volkswagen and FinnPower use cases.

The first draft of the MAYA meta data model, in a nutshell, consists of two parts: the part that models the CPS itself and the product routing. As a main result of the workshop, several topics have been identified that need to be addressed by the consortium during the next weeks. This includes a refinement of the use cases with respect to the information flow and an "inventory" of the types of objects / equipment in the use cases. These data will help to validate the meta data model with respect to the use cases. Security aspects, relationships and hierarchical views will be considered in more detail as well.

The next meeting is planned in December 2016 with the goal to check the meta data model based on the detailed use case data.


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On 10th November 2016, Prof. Pedrazzoli participated in the workshop Platforms & Tools for Digital Factories organized wihin the FoF-Impact Project at CRIT facilities. MAYA has been presented during his speech on Simulation of CPS-based Factory: challenges and opportunities set by the I4.0 framework highlighting MAYA framework and its objectives towards the digital representation of Factories 4.0.



Technological advancements, by themselves, are not anymore enough to satisfy and foster the need of innovation of the industrial market. If applied research is able to bring to field level technological breakthrough, to reach a comprehensive shift towards new manufacturing paradigms, it is necessary to promote initiatives able to educate and accompany industries in this transition.

This is the case of the European Competence Centre for IEC-61499, presented on 18th-19th October by Synesis. The competence centre, created as result of a long path of research and innovation supported by the European Commission FoF – Factory of the Future PPP, and developed within the project Daedalus, aims at creating an ecosystem for industrial automation, based on the new technologies for distributed intelligence coming from the ICT domain, thus bringing into the market the awareness of how such solutions can foster opportunities for revolutionary applications. Understanding and accepting the major issue of attracting users into a digital platform, the Competence Centre pushes the envelope of IEC61499-based CPS as a disruptive innovation and become the catalyser to accelerate its widespread acceptance at European level, hosting and incubating its Digital Marketplace.

During the two-days launch event, speakers from the industrial, research and regulatory domain took the stage to present, discuss and give their vision about this challenging role of the competence centre. 5 discussion panels alternated to keynote speeches have been organized discussing the following topics.

Distributed and scalable control solutions for flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems: the discussion crossed the main topics of relevance for deploying reconfigurable manufacturing systems based on distributed automation, explaining the choice of focusing on IEC-61499.

Transforming a technological platform into an ecosystem for industrial automation: description and proposal of a digital marketplace for the diffusion of applications and software components based on the IEC-61499 technologies.

Five Daedalus showcases to incubate reference application scenarios: session dedicated to the exploration of five Daedalus’ showcases. Complex automation devices transformed into IEC61499-compliant CPS; IEC-61499 encapsulation of AGVs to become mobile agents; distributed robotic picking to optimize intralogistics tasks; an industrial pilot plant for de-manufacturing optimized and re-configurable in real-time; IEC-61499 'Factory-in-a-room': integration of industrial, building and grid automation in a single framework.

IEC-61499 Ecosystem: fostering innovation within the market: relevant representatives from international companies proposed their point of view on this opportunity, fostering discussion among key industrial automation stakeholders such as Schneider Electric, HMS Industrial Networks, Schunk, SCM Group, and many other keynote speakers and participating partners.

Simulation and Control of hierarchical systems of CPS: discussion on how an appropriate usage of modelling, simulation and advanced control techniques– in a shop floor governed by a CPS-based distribution of intelligence – can lead to a new generation of “self-aware” devices and systems. In this context, the framework of Maya has been presented by Diego Rovere, Head of R&D of TTS, by highlighting the synergies among MAYA and Daedalus projects. 

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One of the major conference of the year on the future of manufacturing in Europe has been held in Brussels last 15th and 16th September. The European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA), a non-for-profit, public-private partnership unveiled its Factory 4.0. vision. The conference opening keynote has been addressed by the European commissioner for digital economy and society, Mr. Oettinger, who described how novel technologies are rapidly gaining more relevance in the European market. Even though most of the advancements in digital innovation seem to be brought by “external disrupters”, mainly from the U.S., European companies are demonstrating the capability to adapt to the new economic challenges manufacturing enterprises are facing in the last years. Digital technologies are seen as the foremost enabling leverage towards the effective reshoring of manufacturing companies. Manufacturing is key for Europe since it employs more than 30 million people and encompasses more than 2 million companies. In bridging the gap between the current state of the market towards the Industry 4.0 vision, it is expected that almost every enterprise will need to create a digital representation of the entire manufacturing processes in order to respond to volatile customer behaviours and market changes. After the Mr. Oettinger's speech, the event continued with the presentations of key industry experts:

  • Heinz Neubert – Vice President Corporate Technology – Siemens
  • Urban Wass – Senior Vice President Innovation and Research Policy – Volvo Group
  • Peter Post – Chairman Head of Research – FESTO
  • Rainer Rauh – Vice President & Head of Global Innovation – Airbus

Although coming from different fields, Mr. Wass outlined the similarity of the Volvo's vision regarding digitalisation and other companies’ ones. Horizontal integration across the value chain and vertical integration were two of the key aspects mentioned by the speakers. The experts claimed that although vertical integration has been partially achieved in their companies, horizontal integration practices still need a big move forward. Eventually, several other speakers from the industry field and academic institutions highlighted how both legacy systems and recent factory resources will be ever more cyber-ized through smart sensors and computing techniques such as agent-based modelling in order to improve efficiency and quality while reducing the environmental impact and reducing costs. 

Within the context of the H2020 European initiative Daedalus, conceived to foster the creation of a digital marketplace for distributed industrial automation, the IEC61499 Competence Centre will be launched being the focal aggregation point of the technologies needed to deploy within the market an interoperable platform for CPS. 

The Competence Centre will act as "last kilometer" of the technology transfer process, maximizing the impact of the disruptive IEC61499 standard encapsulating innovative solutions directly within the market. 

The launch event of the Competence Centre will be on 18th-19th October 2016 @Milan. The two-days event has been conceived to embrace all representatives of the industrial automation value chain, from platform developers to end-users, and structured to tackle two main objectives: 

  • 1st day: broad discussion with the main European representatives of automation technologies, starting a path that will lead to a new revision of the IEC61499 international standard;
  • 2nd day: presentation to business public the infinite opportunities that the concepts of distributed automation can bring to the manufacturing sector. 

Considering the relevance of the Competence Centre for MAYA, the consortium welcomes and supports this initiative!


More information:

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