The process of developing products, manufacturing processes and the management of manufacturing systems can be characterised by the wide range of decisions at multi-levels across the process chain that need to be taken by engineers in very short time frames. These decisions very often have large implications for a company’s profitability.  Currently most companies have well established information support processes to support these decisions, but lack analytic decision support capabilities that can provide engineers with persistent on-time support for business decisions.  Therefore, the focus of DREAM is to support the provision of simulation based predictive models across the spectra of decisions found in modern manufacturing industries, from strategic to real time. Essential challenges of this focus are:

  1. Companies in development of product, processes and in management of manufacturing systems have established decision processes, there is a requirement to embed predictive decision supports that work seamlessly (even unknowingly) within these processes;
  2. Demand volatility and shorter product life cycles are forcing product and process engineering to make decisions in shorter time frames creating a need for on-time decision support;
  3. For companies to remain competitive in the global economy the scale of investments in product design and manufacturing is increasing, tools that can predict the effect of changes across the complete process chain at the product and process stages are required;
  4. There is a high level of expertise and resources required to develop, deploy and maintain simulation based applications,  new methodologies and tools for  modelling and system knowledge management  are required to support companies, especially SMEs, in adopting simulation based decision support;
  5. Manufacturing systems are highly reactive systems, due to rapidly changing market demand and unscheduled events (machine breakdown, absentee workers, material quality), resulting in a great need by industry for simulation based real-time decision support that is tightly integrated with Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

Therefore, DREAM offers a simulation optimization platform and methodologies that address human-system interaction that will allow seamless integration of on-time analytic simulation based decision-support into existing company decision information processes at multi-levels.  Simulation based decision support is provided through a semantic free, modular and open simulation application development environment, that allows tight coupling of simulation based decision support with the existing semantics used by companies in their existing decision processes. Through the provision of quantitative decision support across the process chain the quality and speed of decision making will increase.

The above details the overall requirements addressed by the DREAM project.   In forming the consortium use case companies were selected that would allow generation of requirements and validation of project results across different company sizes and different manufacturing sectors.  

Additional information