The interaction between design and production planning is always a challenge, and the changes of requirements by the customer create additional uncertainty. The FORTIFIER project aims to address this obstacle by introducing digital twins for wire harness design and manufacturing. On a high level, our team will prototype the "Wire harness factory for the future", where various workflows will be integrated to support overarching objectives like exploiting next generation engineering tools, reducing time and cost of wire harness production, and at the same time increasing product quality by deploying an AI based Digital Twin for the factory.
Large and complex products such as aircraft, vehicles, oil and gas installations and ships depend on accurate engineering information for their successful operation and maintenance throughout a life cycle often measured in decades. This life cycle normally depends on a wide variety of diverse computer systems and information formats, which itself becomes a barrier to effective communication of engineering information across the supply chain. By using a common standard, we can eliminate the unnecessary cost of manually converting, or re-entering information between different computer systems. FORTIFIER aims to address these challenges for the wire harness industries.
The project will result in commercial software products for small, medium sized and large enterprises of the wire harness manufacturing industry. These will lead to: a) Better flow in production b) Fewer human errors during the manufacturing process c) Less manual search and d) Reduced delivery times, which is highly important as cable production is the last stage in the system production process.
In addition, the team will develop individual business cases that will support each organization's growth in economic, technical and other commercial respects.
FORTIFIER will develop a next generation solution for wire harness manufacturers by adding new capabilities in
knowledge based design and AI enhanced Industry 4.0 technologies for flexible production and manufacturing in combination with product lifecycle management (PLM) capabilities and exploiting the benefits of new open international and publicly available standards. To achieve this, advanced simulation techniques for flexible wire harness are for the first time combined with selected artificial intelligence techniques for wire behavior predictions, production planning, and manufacturing simulation of flexible wire harness assemblies including improved techniques for quality control. The need in trusted and secure supply chain management will be addressed by integrating existing block chain software. This project aims to reduce design time by 30%, manufacturing planning cost by 25%, and automate data exchange, sharing and archiving processes, which will cut administrative and information search cost by 50%.