Productive4.0 has started the second project year. During the first innovation cycle more and more results are taking shape. “The milestones reached so far show that we are on the right way”, coordinator Thomas Gutt says. He calls the project “a giant innovation machine with a large number of parts where everything has to intermesh smoothly”.
First impression can be deceptive
To someone who is not familiar with the project and the role of its 109 partners it may appear more overarching than something going deeply into technology – which it does, after all. Proof that first impression can be deceptive, was given by Gutt last June. He introduced Productive4.0 at the Nanoelectronics, Applications, Design & Technology Conference in Grenoble, France. The event was focusing on hardcore technological aspects.
One of the examples Gutt pointed out was the wafer production which is a delicate and complex process requiring specific technological prerequisites. Take thin wafers or even ultra-thin wafers; it is clear that they must not be touched since their front and backsides are electrical active. The fully automated handling still is quite a challenge.
Composition revealing size and Impact
The Productive4.0 scope includes the entirety of manufacturing, from automated thin wafer handling to the micro-environment of a FOUP wafer transport system, all the way to customer communications such as the open online sales and marketing platform. “By transferring this principle to all use cases we are able to cover the complete supply chain across all domains”, Thomas Gutt explained.
Just by showing the composition of the use cases and tasks he emphasized the specific approach and size of Productive4.0. To underline the holistic character he also drew attention to the use cases in work package 9. They cover the complete supply chain, and they combine parts of it. The shaver system of Philips serves as a prominent example where relevant data provided by the end user are used to continuously optimize the product according to everyday needs and even changing habits.
Lighthouse project with lots of docking sites
The attendants at the conference learned that Productive4.0 is covering the complete value chain at all industrial domains. This is why the project is driven by so many partners. And this is something outsiders who are used to projects aiming at one or a just few results first have to realize: “Productive4.0 is way too big for that; the project may be thrilling, but it will be quite a challenge to demonstrate the links between all the expected outcomes”, Thomas Gutt says, adding that its impact may even increase due to the fact that as a Lighthouse project it is open for others to join: “We have lots of docking sites”.