COMPLus: Led lighting - Supplier selection, network management

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Improve transparency of the Supply Network
Harmonizing IT Tools, documents and formats through sharing best practices
Harmonizing of Business Processes through sharing and evaluating best practices
Improve and accelerate the partner search for LED manufacturing
COMPLUS KPIs

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Description of the trial

Nowadays the development of concept and setting a production network takes a long time, as all planning operations are performed on ad-hoc, using verbal communication with pure capabilities of synchronise information and data regarding requirements, business processes, possible supplier and their role in the supply network as well as variety of business processes and IT Tools. The process of decision making in supply networks gains on complexity as the number of enterprises, enterprises’ capabilities, and the relations between them grows. An improved network transparency implies faster and more reliable decision making. This trial aims at enabling the network manager and the network companies share the knowledge and the information about suppliers, products, used IT Tools as well as best practices business processes. The target is to accelerate the early design phase and insure the involvement across all network partners with: Support of supplier network configuration, Improvement of network transparency, and Ensure information entry and supplier search.

FITMAN COMPlus Trial fact sheet

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Innnovative service and functionalities

  • Supplier search and consistent network configuration

  • Information entry for network configuration

  • Semantic Application Support to support the Network Transparency for more efficient Supply Network Configuration

  • Transparency about IT systems and information sources

  • Sharing best practises in reference processes and IT

Impact & benefits

The main values of the Performance Indicators and the Business Processes are efficiency and quality (productivity). It should be possible to reduce the needed time for a Business Process by using the FITMAN trial solution, a web based service with all needed information and tools. Regarding the quality, the following results have been achieved: 45% decrease of mistakes and errors during the configuration of the supply network (improves with the enrichment of the supplier knowledge base and the maturity of the solution), 25% standardised IT landscape (improves with the number of shared best practices and maturity) and 60% level of transparency according to the trial requirements (the knowledge base is being enriched and hence the level of transparency if the network improves). Concerning the efficiency, 65% time reduction for configuration and data entry of LED Network due to the knowledge base (as the number of included entities into the knowledge base increase, the maturity of the system improves), and 15% time reduction needed for searching supplier (within the network on the basis of the knowledge base) has been achieved.

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Technical challenges

To improve supplier selection and network management the LED trial has instantiated the Virtual Factory Reference Architecture. The SEs and GEs used especially for the network transparency and partner (supplier) search. Special technical challenges and infrastructure aspects are specifically Security aspects. COMplus network partners are very sensitive regarding data security. Therefore for the future application a detailed security concept is necessary. This will cover also the private cloud idea experimented by COMplus within the FITMAN project. For the current trial solution a web-service concept has been used. Regarding the cloud provision, the OpenStack cloud technologies used by FIWARE is currently very knowledge intensive and requires high amount of resources, as well as time which is very difficult to provide by small companies. Finally, we have imported data from different sources such as LinkedIn profiles, web pages and text documents. Due to the high diversity of information sources from where we want to extract knowledge, the Extraction component requires fine tuning and adaptation. However once the right setup is done, extraction works with high accuracy.

Business challenges

Due to its customized nature, the development of a product is the crucial moment on the network, triggering the process of its configuration. Triggered from both own ideas and customer orders, the network configuration and searching for companies with the corresponding capabilities are continuously performed at the design phase, during the production phase, during the modification of the network for new products, and during the service providing for maintenance of the LED-Lighting Systems. These network re-configuration and adaptation requires currently a lot of time. It also has the risk of no conform partners related to the demands of the product. This arises especially from different tools in use, uncertainty of tools to be used, different interface descriptions, different process structures, Information exchange based on telephone and mail, on demand time intensive supplier search by telephone and paper documents from fairs, and risk of missing manufacturing knowledge on supplier side. The trial enables the networked companies to access a collaborative environment in order to share knowledge about technological capabilities and best practices in an early design phase. The target is to reduce the time in the early phase of the engineering project. Economic and production feasibility during the early design and configuration phase. Reducing the number of reworks and changes. Decrease of communication time between design changes and decisions. This is addressed by the following three functionalities: Supplier network configuration, Ensure information entry and supplier search, Chair of best practices.

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IT PARTNER: Fraunhofer IPK

IPKs objective is a rapid transfer of research results into the corporate practice. IPK works on integrated solutions in close cooperation with the industry. The division Corporate-Management developed methods and tools for enterprise modelling which are used in industry as backbone for the management processes as well as new services for manufacturing planning. IPK has successful experiences in developing new production planning services. IPK has research projects in crowed production, sustainable product lifecycles, manufacturing control and flexile configuration of global production networks. In FITMAN IPK provides a private cloud infrastructure for the VW trial as well as the technical trial realization. This will lead to further research and service activities in terms of modular shop-floor IT integration into modular platform concepts as well as the improvement of the production planning process not only in automotive.

Fraunhofer IPK

END USER: COMplus Automation GmbH

SMEs producing high-tech product often lean on a highly customized products and niche markets in order to stay competitive on the global market. Cooperation with other SMEs providing complementary technologies creates heterogeneous and dynamic production networks. The steadily increasing product variety increases the complexity of such networks. This complexity can be managed in the early phase of the innovation and product development processes through an effective and efficient provision of product and production knowledge data, as well as analytic services. The configurability of the LED Lighting Systems enables them to be optimally adjusted to meet every lighting situation. It results in maximum cost reductions to being achieved with maximum system efficiency. COMplus Automation GmbH does for its clients design, planning, installation and ongoing support of data networks. To protect the extensive networks security solutions are offered. A smoothly functioning network environment is one of the foundations of any business success. The long experience in this field allows COMplus Automation GmbH, a reliable partner from the moment of initial planning, to be on the implementation to round-the-clock support.

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