Section: Overall Objectives
The COSTEAM project deals with optimal and secure management of discrete systems producing goods and services. Its main objectives are systems design, analysis and control.
Systems producing goods or services play a fundamental role in our economical environment which is facing major changes. In industrial production, the buzzword is no more productivity but capacity to react or agility. The preservation or the improvement of the competitiveness of an industrial or service system is strongly influenced by its environment, i.e. by the evolution of the market, by production technologies and by the people involved in its operations. Concerning the tomorrow's market, the economic studies are unanimous. The market evolves towards high-quality, low-cost products, of large variety (some even talk about personalized products or mass customization) and renewed more frequently. It constantly evolves and becomes more and more difficult to predict. In such a very strongly competitive context, the performance of companies depends on their flexibility and their ability to react. The technological answer to this challenge relies on flexible and reconfigurable systems. A flexible manufacturing system has a high level of automation and uses sophisticated resources such as digitally operated machines, robots, etc. The amount of investments due to flexible systems requires a detailed preliminary study. Such a study requires a design phase comprising stages for modeling, analysis, performance evaluation and control synthesis of the future systems, even before these are settled. Their reconfiguration uses the same techniques to improve or adapt constantly these systems to the needs of the market. Due to the globalization of economies, companies must be competitive in terms of costs, delays and quality. They must be flexible to meet the fluctuating demands and they must be reactive to face the exogenous and endogenous changes they undergo. More than ever they need rational tools and structured methods to better control the flows of products, information and decision, and to archive a better reliability of the production resources. The control of the whole supply chain, going from the suppliers to the consumers and encompassing all the stages of production, becomes a necessity. The objective of the COSTEAM project is to develop tools and methods which can help companies to design, model, evaluate and manage their production systems. Accurately, starting from industrial needs, we develop methods for modeling and evaluating performances, as well as associated tools and methodologies to help manufacturers to better design and manage their production systems of goods and services.