Introduction

Installations of production lines, customer-oriented co-ordination and modification of production processes, as well as maintenance of machinery are core areas of substantial information exchange for competitive advantage. Offering a web-based collaboration space where experts interact with on-site workforces, where customers interact with producing parties, where service technicians interact with construction engineers or diagnostic teams – independent of any location – will provide a new dimension of efficiency. This comprises especially dramatic reduction of travelling time and costs, as well as carbon footprint, essential reduction of latencies and delay, but increased documentation and knowledge exchange throughout all parties including the end-customer, and thus an increased potential for innovations, resulting in a boost for the European industry.

We envision a product-centric collaboration space for dynamic and flexible information exchange between multiple companies including the end-customer. ComVantage will build on top of best practises from the Web for providing product-centric and workflow-based mobile apps. This includes the novel data publishing and integration practise Linked Data as well as Web 2.0 technologies such as  (micro-) blogging, tagging, wiki-based collaboration, and light-weight data APIs for private use in virtual factories. The collaboration space will be an extension to existing business and engineering software that enables to share selected business data and machine data of interorganisational relevance to increase efficiency and flexibility of production processes throughout a dynamic network of manufacturers. ComVantage as collaborative manufacturing network for companies of any size will lead the European market to competitive advantage and sustainable business operations.

ComVantage will facilitate and help to optimise the following processes:

  • De-centralised collaboration between multiple companies, including SME, and the end-customer
  • Focused information exchange and optimised access to machine data for accelerating non-routine processes occurring during commissioning or maintenance
  • High expertise decision making
  • Fast and agile re-configuration of production processes due to unplanned events or market demands
  • Avoidance of delay situations due to lack of information, availability of experts etc.
  • Continuous increase of operational excellence with respect to economical as well as ecological sustainability.
  • Optimisation of product design and product innovation