Integration Between PLM and MES for One-of-a-Kind Production
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Despite the amount of research addressing the formalization of product-related knowledge, the practical use of tools for knowledge management is still very low at the corporate level. Several commercial software applications are already available for product lifecycle management (PLM) and manufacturing execution system (MES). Unfortunately, these two applications are scarcely integrated thus preventing an efficient and pervasive collection of data and the consequent creation of useful information. This is more critical in One-of-a-kind Production (OKP), where each product is unique, the process is not completely defined at the design stage, but it is continuously improved at the shop floor level by skilled operator. In such situations, most of the company’s knowledge relies on the lessons learnt by operators in years of work experience, and their ability to reuse this knowledge in order to face new problems. Because OKP must develop unique product and complex processes in a short time, it is mandatory to reuse the acquired information in the most efficient way. It is therefore necessary to collect all the data from the shop floor and transform them in information that will be used in the development of the next product and process. The aim of this paper is to design a framework able to integrate data, from both design and manufacturing phases. To this aim, a framework has been designed to structure and relate information from the PLM and the MES systems. A case study has been developed for a car prototyping company to prove the efficiency of the proposed solution.
KeywordsIndustry 4.0 PLM Knowledge management OKP
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