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ZDM Spotlight: PeneloPe

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Manufacturing of complex large-scale parts is a challenging subject matter in Europe. It must ensure high product quality through high-precision manufacturing and repairing processes across all stages of the value chain whilst remaining competitive in the global scenarios. It is a key part of industry in Europe since it affects strategic sectors such as oil and gas production, shipbuilding, aeronautics and bus/ coach assembly.

Nowadays, manufacturing methodologies still rely on manual, time-consuming and inaccurate processes. However, there is good news for the future of EU industry. To increase competitiveness of its SMEs, Mid-caps and corporates, Europe is leading this battle developing cutting edge technology on increasing products’ performance, quality, customization, delivery time and lifecycle services. As part of this strategy, PENELOPE will develop a specific methodology and vision focused on manufacturing of large-scale parts of several value chains.

PENELOPE’s main challenges involve: increasing complexity in design and manufacturing setup, Limited production efficiency and product quality. Raw materials scarcity is a major issue that increases production cost and preservation of the industry-specific knowledge and skills. In order to tackle these issues, innovation resulting from the PENELOPE project will rely on developing and adopting technologies such as simulation models, Digital Thread, Digital Twin, online control & inline inspection, data analytics and AI tools, a broad range of worker-centric tools (VR/AR tools, exoskeletons, collaborative robots, etc.) towards the future modular and flexible factory 4.0.

These innovations will be built upon advancing existing “Made in Europe” technical solutions developed in previous EU multinational research projects that will allow taking the results to the next level. INTEGRADDE and MAYA projects in automotive and additive manufacturing; DIMOFAC, FAR-EDGE, AUTOWARE or OPENMOS projects to demonstrate a modular and decentralised manufacturing; SHERLOCK project developed AR tools and exoskeletons in real manufacturing fields; QU4LITY for achieving Zero-defect manufacturing strategies; AI4EU project that develops an AI platform to build a cognitive Factory and to exploit the potential of artificial intelligence with advanced manufacturing.

All previous innovations and technical solutions will be reflected by the deployment, validation and demonstration of 4 industrial-driven pilot lines in strategic manufacturing sectors in EU tier one companies facilities: IDESA, MVW, FOKKER Aerostructures and VDL. The transformations brought about by PENELOPE need to be replicated, thus, it will be also supported by a pan-European network of Didactic Factories and showrooms, providing workforce training and skills development to industry. It is expected that PENELOPE will develop training methods, enabling the EU industrial workforce to transition towards Industry 4.0. ensuring safety, accuracy and precision on manufacturability in all stages from design to the final product for the overall benefit of the EU manufacturing sector.

More information can be found at: https://penelope-project.eu/

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