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Eco Process Engineering System for composition of services to optimize product life cycle

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Background

Product improvements, manufacturing processes, product operations and maintenance services require flexible software integrating solutions being able to capture and process information from various actors and different operational phases with the objective of enhancing efficiency and improving sustainability performance from a life-cycle perspective. Static, isolated legacy (Product Lifecycle Management) PLM systems generally in use cannot react fast and flexibly enough, as there are no appropriate services for capturing knowledge and putting it to practical use in relevant time. In this regard, EPES (Eco Process Engineering System) will provide service oriented ICT solutions to generate software services, which improve the performance of highly customized industrial processes, products and services (PPS) during their life, in cases in which no standard, off-the-shelf solutions can be applied. In many sectors, PPS improvements require an efficient combination and reconfiguration of software services to meet varying requirements along the product/process life cycle and effectively take into account different ecological constraints (eco-constraints), such as reduction of energy and materials consumption in processes. An important factor influencing this improvement process is the dynamic, flexible, and customizable nature of the software services that back up the life cycle.

While it is standard practice that companies procure to incorporate cutting-edge technologies in new products, upgrading products that are already in operation, i.e. moving towards the concept of a “life-long eco-product”, is a greater challenge. Traditional maintenance systems focus on replacing worn-out parts, but generally do not consider options for upgrading, which would bring about sustainability benefits. The idea of optimizing processes, products and services (PPS) throughout their entire life-cycle, which lies at the heart of the EPES project, can have a substantial impact on the economic and environmental performance of companies, but intelligent tools are required to capture and process internal and external data from a variety of actors and to feed it back into the PPS loop.

By collecting and processing information on the performance of a product over its entire life-cycle, manufacturers gain insight on how to overcome ecological or “eco-constraints”, i.e. legislative or other surrounding factors affecting the efficiency of resource use. EPES therefore adds a sustainability perspective to traditional manufacturing knowledge and production / maintenance techniques, including parameters that go beyond the product performance and cost-oriented factors.

Patrocinadores

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 285093