is a collaborative research project funded by the European Union Framework Programme 7 Factories of the Future Public Private Partnership Programme (FoF-PPP). It addresses the FoF-PPP Theme FoF.NMP.2013-9 entitled “Advanced concepts for technology-based business approaches addressing product-services and their manufacturing in globalised markets advanced concepts for technology-based business approaches addressing product/services and their manufacturing in globalised markets”.
Competitive manufacturing industry must be able to react to change and to understand the balance of possible options when making decisions on complex multi-faceted problems. Understanding how best to configure and re-configure a global production network, set against rapidly changing product-service requirements is one such complex problem area. This project aims to provide services that support the design and provision of flexible interoperable networks of production systems that can rapidly and accurately be re-configured. The metaphor employed is ‘to start with a new business idea in the morning and have all required data and networks understood by the afternoon’.
To achieve this FLEXINET takes the view that new product-service global production network modelling methods and models are needed that can model business cases and identify the critical network relations and knowledge that underlies the business operation. In addition, FLEXINET takes the fundamental view that complex manufacturing systems which involve multiple partners and multiple complex network constraints, require a semantically rigorous formal foundation upon which to base the flexible re-configuration of global production networks.
Based on the exploitation of these technologies, FLEXINET will deliver a set of configuration services for flexible network design, applicable to both OEMs and SMEs, that will enable "what-if" comparisons of costs, risks, configuration evaluations and product-service compliance requirements for alternative production network designs. FLEXINET will achieve this aim by working with its industrial partners from the industrial pump, white goods and food sectors and exploiting the world leading expertise of its partners in business modelling, business evaluation methods, risk management, manufacturing semantics, manufacturing knowledge sharing, manufacturing eco-systems, product-service systems, SME collaboration, SOA, Interoperability and standardisation.