Industrial Cluster FLEXibility platform for sustainable FACTories to reduce CO2 emissions and to enable the Energy Transition
The Flex4fact project aims to develop an end-to-end ecosystem that takes a modular approach to enable flexible manufacturing in industry and create the conditions for the necessary energy transition in which all stakeholders can participate and benefit. Currently, complex process industries and the segment of mixed clusters and distributed renewable energy flows are not covered. Indeed, at least three key elements of the Flex4Fact approach differ from current offerings: 1) enabling industrial flexibility through digital process twinning and machine learning techniques to address complex operational scenarios and exploit the full potential of the selected industrial cases; 2) the end-to-end approach of the Flex4Fact platform, covering the entire technology stack required to achieve the results; 3) a modular and multi-level approach that leverages flexible, hybrid architectures, open protocols, and standard interfaces to enable greater flexibility in the system itself and associated service offerings, remove barriers to entry for vendors in the value chain, and ensure data communication with existing IT legacy systems. As a digital enabler for flexible energy consumption, the Flex4Fact platform will meet the needs of companies of all sizes, including SMEs that are affected by rising energy prices and have less "financial muscle" to deploy a combination of IT, manufacturing, and energy solutions (93% of European companies have fewer than 10 employees and only 1 in 5 SMEs are highly digitized). The Flex4fact platform will also reduce the digital divide between North and Southern Europe, another crucial aspect for European competitiveness: in fact, it will be developed by a balanced European consortium in which critical technologies will be developed and implemented by several partners in five industrial contexts, from North to South in Europe.