eFactory: European Connected Factory Platform for Agile Manufacturing

The eFactory project realises a federated smart factory ecosystem by initially interlinking four smart factory platforms, from the FoF-11-2016 cluster, through an open and interoperable Data Spine. The federation of the 4 base platforms is complemented by industrial platforms, collaboration tools and smart factory systems, specifically selected to support connected factories in lot-size-one manufacturing.

The federated eFactory platform delivers added value and reduces the barrier to innovation by providing seamless access to services and solutions that are currently dispersed. eFactory provides the necessary infrastructure, tools and support for novel service creation and validations by third parties. It will foster healthy competition in an ecosystem of platform and service providers, and will ensure that the needs of the evolving European smart manufacturing industry are met.

The eFactory federation is offered as an open platform to allow manufacturing and logistic companies to utilise the offered functionality, experiment with innovation approaches and develop custom solutions based on specific needs. The project demonstrates the power of federation through three embedded large-scale pilots focusing on lot-size-one manufacturing and on establishing fast, sustainable value networks in aerospace and furniture manufacturing sectors. For cross-domain validation, a circular economy pilot is also incorporated.

The results of the pilots are made available openly as lessons learned and best practices. The creation of the future European smart factory ecosystem is fostered by a dedicated budget for open calls to attract at least 20 early adopters adding to those companies already attracted by the 4 base platforms. The consortium comprises of SMEs who have the strategic need and agility to quickly react and adopt innovative solutions and is balanced by Airbus and Siemens to take advantage of their market presence and reach, and to add momentum to the platform economy.