Manufacturing companies are generally experiencing demand for increased variety and complexity in products and production, shorter time-to-market, and smaller batch sizes, which is both a challenge but also an opportunity for increased competitiveness and market differentiation. The purpose of this project is to enable Danish manufacturing companies to meet these challenges through the development of reconfigurable and platform-based production. Reconfigurable production is a new type of production systems designed for both efficient operation and rapid change of functionality and capacity. This is achieved through systematic design based on modular production equipment and a close connection between product and production platforms. Today, most manufacturing companies develop production systems designed as dedicated solutions where a specific range of products and variants can be produced in a volume that matches the expected demand in the market. However, with increased market uncertainty, volatile customer demand, and shorter product lifecycles, such dedicated systems quickly become obsolete and inefficient. As a result, companies experience expensive and time-consuming rebuilds for new products or systems that have either too extensive capacity investment in capacity or insufficient capacity, resulting in loss of sales. Previous research has indicated that with reconfigurable production systems, capacity costs can be reduced by up to 50% compared to dedicated system, while still having sufficient capacity in a market with uncertain growth.
The REKON project builds on research results in the field of reconfigurable and modular production, which were conducted through the MADE projects, where both AAU, SDU and TI have been partners. The project is proceeding in two main phases with the aim of establishing and disseminating a method for the development of reconfigurable and platform-based production that can be anchored in Danish production companies.
Project phase 1 - Development of method for establishing reconfigurable and platform-based production: During this phase, a systematic approach to production development and related toolbox is developed through pilot projects in seven manufacturing companies. In these projects, the various steps in the method and related tools are developed and tested in collaboration with the companies.
Project phase 2 - Dissemination and anchoring of method for developing reconfigurable and platform-based production, product modularization and co-development of these: In this phase, a larger number of selected companies will be included in the anchoring process, where the production development method and associated toolbox will be disseminated and used.