Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Saturday, October 21, 2017
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Collaborative Cloud under Development for Manufacturers in Europe 

Calling itself the first collaborative cloud-based platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing industry, the Cloud Collaborative Manufacturing Networks (C2NET) consortium was announced today in Europe.

C2NET has the characteristics of an “industry cloud,” a trend covered recently here (see “Industry Clouds: An At-Scale Grass Roots Movement Changing IT Life within Sectors,” EnterpriseTech, March 18, 2017), in which groups of companies within a sector come together to leverage enhanced technologies and share best practices in a pooled-cost environment. C2NET is designed to help SMEs optimize their manufacturing and logistic supply chains “by reducing the complexity currently surrounding manufacturing management systems. It offers a platform on which products, processes and logistical data can be securely stored and shared in the cloud.”

Leading the companies involved in C2NET is digital transformation firm Atos, a 100,000-employee global company based in France and Germany. The project is funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 program that supports innovation in EU countries, and it’s made up of 20 partners including industrial organizations, associations, research centers, ICT companies and public institutions.


According to the consortium, C2NET benefits will include:

- Access to data analytics in real-time

- Access to supply chain management information from mobile devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones)

- System security for collaboration and sharing of best practices

The C2NET project includes creation of the C2NET Data Collection Framework for IoT-based continuous data capture from supply network resources. It also includes collaboration tools to provide support to the collaborative processes of the supply network, along with a cloud platform to integrate the data module, the optimizers and the collaborative tools in the cloud. And, finally, it includes “optimizers” for the manufacturing and logistics assets in the supply network.

In a prepared statement, Atos said it is actively participating in the design and implementation of the C2NET platform, coordinating the implementation of the pilot projects and designing the business models. Results of this work will be demonstrated in four pilot projects that will allow supply network partners to share assets and information via the cloud, collaborate on production and delivery plans across the supply network and provide decision-makers with data analytics in real-time, the consortium said.

The four pilots that have been developed include:

  • Automotive: To automate and encourage collaborative planning, data collection and sharing of information.
  • Dermo-cosmetics: To develop more collaborative, agile and distributed planning processes.
  • SMEs Industrial Park: To manage logistic flow and resources more efficiently.
  • Hydraulic & Lubrication: To provide suppliers and customers with a centralized hub of informationfor forecasting, to identify supplier delays and checks delivery status.

Besides Atos, the C2NET consortium consists of 18 European organizations, including Universidad Politécnica de València, Armines (Mines Albi as third party), IK4-Ikerlan, UNINOVA, Instituto Tecnológico de Informática, Tampere University of Technology, Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy, Linagora, Caja Magica, Faurecia, Novatec, Pierre Fabre, Interop-VLab, Fluidhouse, TecMinho, Flexefelina and Antonio Abreu Metalomecánica.

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