Manufacturing systems need to transform towards a new service-oriented architecture to benefit from new smart manufacturing technologies such as IIoT, AI, and Big Data Analytics. A service-oriented manufacturing system (SOMS) is a dynamic composition of networked manufacturing software and cyber-physical components offered as services. Transformation to SOMS is necessary if manufacturing systems are to respond effectively to dynamic market demands and disruptions. Although manufacturers can see the benefits the new architecture may bring, they face several difficulties in making the transformation. This project will develop measurement science, methods, and tools to reduce the costs and risks to manufacturers in making the transformation.
WHAT IS THE TECHNICAL IDEA?
The core of the technical idea is to develop methods and tools that enable agile composition of new service-oriented technologies including (1) simple, small footprint, networked data-access-service APIs, (2) microservices (independently deployable, small, modular functional components), (3) cloud marketplaces (cloud-based registry of, and runtime environment for modular, third-party software services), and (4) a smart manufacturing operating system - a platform for composition and execution. Research will be conducted leading to new standards and methods that allow for more precise and cost-effective description, qualification, and quantification of a service’s functional characteristics and the quality of those characteristics. As the SOMS will exploit the economy of services, standards supporting it must also be agile. New models, computational methods, and tools will be developed to allow for more cost-effective management of the service descriptions along with their respective message standards.
WHAT IS THE RESEARCH PLAN?
The project employs three tracks of research that feed into each other: 1) New methods and standards for service characterization; 2) New methods and tools for agile manufacturing and supply chain operations standard development and use; and 3) New methods and tools for services composition.
1) New methods and standards for service characterization
In this track, a services composition use case for production scheduling will be investigated. Ontological models for describing analytical problems and service capability will be developed. Once the model has been validated (1st year), the project team will confer with a standard consortium to develop a standard for further extension in other areas of manufacturing operations.
In addition, project members will work with the Open Application Group Inc. (OAGi) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) working group to research on the feasibility to derive, simpler micro-service standards from existing manufacturing and supply chain operation standards. Such standards will provide a ground for the services economy (also known as the APIs Economy), making it possible for SMEs to partake in the smart manufacturing revolution.
2) New methods and tools for agile standard development and use
In this track, project members will work with manufacturing industry standards consortia to gather requirements and develop a new common workflow for a standards development and reuse process that is applicable for the shop-floor to the top-floor processes. Required standards development infrastructure will be developed and demonstrated. Additionally, new methods that exploit standards-usage-related data (e.g., standards’ comments, reviews, and usage documentations) to speed up and enhance reliability of the resulting standards and its use in smart manufacturing settings. The resulting tool will support activities in (1).
3) New methods and tools for services composition
Based on the outcomes from (1) & (2), this track will initialize a preliminary research to perform the state of art and feasibility analysis for SMEs to benefit from the smart manufacturing revolution. The project will research architectures of existing service-oriented manufacturing operation management systems. It will identify requirement gaps for employing such systems in the SMEs context. In particular, the system should be low-cost, pay-as-you-go, open, standard-based, and object-registry-base. The project team will investigate collaboration with externally related activities such as Manufacturing USA Institutes such that SMEs can exploit cloud services.