Europe is a world-leader in ICT for manufacturing and has a leadership position in the field of simulation and forecasting technologies, with big players like SIEMENS and Dassault Systèmes. The use of simulation for manufacturing is widespread in several sectors and, as already mentioned, holds the potential to generate bigger return on productivity growth than most other forms of capital investment. The ground is indeed mature enough to further rely on ICT advancements coupled with the CPS paradigm, as a lever to increase productivity and competitiveness towards a reduction of “time to production” and “time to optimization”. Given the framework, European manufacturing has the concrete chance to recover from the economic crisis that hit EU countries. However, there is still the need to tackle a number of significant technological challenges, before a significant reduced time to production & reduced time to optimization can be achieve through multi-disciplinary integrated simulation and forecasting tools:

  • Technological barriers within the factory-lifecycle phases, that hinder efficient use and propagation of data. Lack of a common factory level vision to empower data sharing.
  • Lack of a unified approach to simulation tasks within different disciplines, that hinder the mutual use of diverse simulation results towards a holistic view.
  • Absence of behavioural models integrated within the CPS, capable to feed smoothly different simulation and forecasting tools and to drive the digital representation of the factory as projection of the real one and vice-versa.