Digitalisation holds big potential for Europe’s manufacturing industry, but also comes with huge challenges. The initiative “end-to-end digitalised production testbeds” approaches some of these challenges.
The initiative end-to-end digitalised production testbeds invites start-ups, scale-ups, research and technology organisations (RTOs), universities as well as industry partners to collaborate and test their ground-breaking products and digital services.
Four EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) join forces in this initiative: EIT Manufacturing, EIT RawMaterials, EIT Food and EIT Digital. It is therefore referred to as one of the Cross-KIC initiatives.
What is a testbed?
Testbeds are a great opportunity to mirror real-life manufacturing sites, depicting either specific processes or scaled-down process chains. They enable an interaction with machinery and equipment and bring digitisation to life by making processes tangible and accessible.
The instalment of hardware components such as process machines, logistics equipment, etc., allows improving the efficiency of the depicted processes by applying digital solutions – which might include Artificial Intelligence technologies, virtual and/or augmented reality functionality, blockchain integration, 5G connectivity, integration of additive manufacturing processes. Participating partners can gain real-life manufacturing experience and can reflect situations of different complexities.
How to implement a testbed?
The implementation of a testbed includes selecting and integrating hardware components as well as collecting data provided by the components, or from external data sources that can be accessed or used. Alternatively, creating smart components by adding (low-cost) sensor technology can be considered. Finally, data processing and analysis need to be addressed, which use advanced methods to support decision making processes and derive optimisation measures.