During the last decade the advent of Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing have open up new opportunities for more flexible and optimized production processes. Thanks to the deployment of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) systems in the manufacturing shopfloor, manufacturers are able to collect and process large amounts of data from physical processes, which they accordingly use to increase the flexibility of their production models and to improve the quality of their products. In this direction they implement use cases like predictive maintenance for production assets and digital twin that simulate and optimize the quality of production processes. Likewise, Industry 4.0 enables the seamless flow of information about production processes across all participants in the value chain, towards optimizing forecasting accuracy, optimizing orders’ fill rate, and improving responsiveness to customer demand.
Apart from improving production efficiency, Industry 4.0 value chains can contribute substantially to improving environment performance and achieving sustainability goals in the manufacturing chain. Specifically, by exchanging information on materials flows, products, and production processes, it is possible to boost the concept of Circular Manufacturing towards:
- Operational efficiency with minimum environmental impact, which improves overall mass customisation performance and delivers green manufacturing performance targets.
- Improved consumers’ experience based on the delivery of better and more sustainable services that are tailored to consumers’ needs.
The H2020 KYKLOS4.0 project where INNOV-ACTS participates is designing and developing a novel digital platform that aims at facilitating circular manufacturing and boosts the accomplishment of circular economy targets. The platform facilitates the seamless exchange of information across various circular economy stakeholders such as manufacturers, remanufacturers, and recyclers. Based on the flow of this information, circular economy stakeholders can plan for the optimal exploitation of waste, the second user of materials and components, and more. Moreover, the platform will be providing stakeholders with technologies that facilitate circular economy targets, such as LCA (Lifecycle Assessments) for machinery and components of manufacturing assets.
The KYKLOS 4.0 digital platform is designed to be deployed both on-premise and on the cloud. Its on premise deployment will require from circular economy stakeholders to maintain local hardware and software resources towards collecting and processing the circular manufacturing information, while at the same time running relevant services like LCA. Circular economy stakeholders with local (on premise) installation of the KYKLOS 4.0 will be able to form circular federations and to exchange information in a decentralized fashion. On the other hand, KYKLOS 4.0 is designed as a cloud platform as well. The KYKLOS 40 cloud based deployment will obviate the need for circular economy stakeholders to maintain local infrastructure, as soon as they can register with the KYKLOS 4.0 cloud infrastructure operator. Nevertheless, this infrastructure benefit will come at the expense of having to share selected manufacturing and/or supply chain data in the KYKLOS 4.0 cloud.
In both cases there is a need for a trusted party (i.e. a Federation Authority (FA)), which will oversee the federation of circular economy stakeholders. The FA will apply the rules that guide the operation of the federation, while facilitating communication and information exchange among the members of the federation. Likewise, the FA will facilitate the storage and management of the data that are necessary for the operation of either the cloud-based or the decentralized federation. Overall, the FA will be instrumental in implementing proper governance schemes from the federation.
From a technical and technological perspective, the KYKLOS 4.0 platform is implemented based on state of the art technologies and in-line with a modern microservices architectures. Specifically, the platform implementation leverages Elasticsearch for data storage, management, and search, along with a high performance message infrastructure based on Apache Kafka for data collection, routing and dissemination. In the case of decentralized communications a permissioned blockchain infrastructure based on Hyperledger Fabric will be used. Kibana and Grafana are used as the platform’s baseline infrastructure for data analysis and presentation. Keycloak is also used as the baseline identify management solution of the platform for authentication and authorization. From an infrastructure perspective, the platform will leverage Docker containers and the popular Kubernetes infrastructure for automatic scaling and deployment.
INNOV-ACTS has been actively contributing in the specifications of the platform. Stay tuned as we will be providing more details on the implementation and validation of the platform in upcoming blogs. In the meantime, you could also stay in touch with the KYKLOS 4.0 project through:
- Reading the project’s latest newsletter at: https://kyklos40project.eu/newsletter_1/
- Following the project on Twitter at @Kyklos40Project