The manufacturing landscape is in constant flux. Changing market conditions, fluctuating demand and challenges along the entire supply chain are part and parcel of an SME’s existence. But when a large-scale crisis unfolds, imperatives shift and the pressure increases.
The COVID-19 health crisis underlined the need for rapid scaling up of manufacturing capabilities in the race to produce essential medical supplies – from parts used in ventilators to masks and disinfectant systems. The pandemic highlighted some of the challenges that can arise when responses are delayed, or there are chinks in the supply chain: shortages, long wait times and interruption to operations. The effects of this fragility in supply chains were felt around the world.
Facilitating fast responses
Optimizing response to unexpected events and building resilience has long been on the agenda for SMEs. However, the COVID-19 emergency brought home just how vital well-prepared continuity and crisis plans are. Global pandemics, cross-border threats, natural disasters or climate crises can occur suddenly and without warning. SMEs need to have mechanisms in place that can support them to scale up their capabilities, accelerate production and optimize their supply chains quickly.
Cloudified services, virtual solutions and simulations, as well as digital twins, can help organizations respond faster. These solutions enable SMEs to virtually model systems and processes and use real-time analytics to run simulations and optimize their physical counterparts.
During crisis situations where time is of the essence, virtual services can significantly accelerate response times. By planning and simulating production lines and supply chains virtually, SMEs can save the time and effort it takes to do these tasks physically, as well as predict and solve bottlenecks before they impact operations.
The Digital Technopole is a single entry point that provides a one-stop shop for tools and knowledge that can help SMEs better understand and visualize their manufacturing facilities and supply chains. The CO-VERSATILE project, which created this digital platform, aimed to facilitate resource sharing and support faster responses to crises in the future.
These solutions not only add value to business and manufacturing operations but have far-reaching impact for the wider community – for example, by addressing supply chain issues that can result in manufacturing delays and product shortages. XXX, from Digital Technopole operator innomine, explains: “Virtual solutions, such as cloudified services and digital twins, can make a significant difference to response times. This not only benefits manufacturers but also serves the wider community.”
Background information about the CO-VERSATILE project
The CO-VERSATILE project received over five million euros in funding from Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, as part of the Commission’s €1.4 billion pledge to the Coronavirus Global Response. The project focuses on rapid response and manufacturing repurposing for vital medical supplies and equipment.
The 21-member consortium includes Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI), Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH) as the main coordinator, clesgo GmbH, Deep Blue, DEMCON, EIT Manufacturing Central, Engineering, Fraunhofer institutes (Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research and Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik), HSSMI, IE University, innomine Digital Innovation Hub Nonprofit Ltd., Instituto Tecnológico de Aragón, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Manufacturing Technology Centre, ML ENGRAVING SRL, OR.P.STAMPI SRL, SKM Aeronautics Ltd., STAM S.r.l., TU Wien, TecnoStatic, University of Applied Science of Southern Switzerland and University of Westminster LBG.
Lakshmy Arvind, CO-VERSATILE Communication manager
Phone: +49 15140765810
Access the ‘Digital Technopole’ https://dtp.co-versatile.eu/
More information about the ‘Digital Technopole’ https://co-versatile.eu/our-promise/digital-technopole-rapid-response