A local research institute is working on a project to develop a production system aimed at bringing the era of custom-made products closer through the convergence of the ICT and manufacturing industries. The project is expected to contribute to realizing Industry 4.0 that makes products by breaking away from the existing method and reflecting consumer demand in real time.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced on June 3 that it has begun a research project to create a cyber-physical system (CPS) capable of producing products that reflect individual demand by connecting modules for small-scale production. The CPS is an integrated system between the cyber and physical worlds that makes communication between things and its automatic and intelligent control possible. The system is used for smart manufacturing, next-generation cars, national defense, smart grids, and smart transportation.
ETRI is currently working to develop a standardization framework that supports the convergence of the ICT and manufacturing industries, in addition to a reference model. Through this, the institute is planning to intellectualize the ecosystem for plants and manufacturing including products, manufacturing processes, and production by applying ICT to the manufacturing industry, thereby providing a base model for the ICT-manufacturing industry and a standardization roadmap.
The research institute aims to establish a foundation that produces customized products by applying software-centered automation and intellectualization technology to the manufacturing industry, going beyond the existing manufacturing process in which machines are controlled by people. ETRI anticipates that the construction of manufacturing technology and production lines that reflect consumer demand in real time will be made possible. It also expects that the era of custom-made products will start as a result. For example, it will be possible to design and manufacture auto frames, engines, and car sheets in line with individual preferences, as well as customized cosmetics in accordance with individual skin conditions and tastes.
ETRI plans to complete base technology in three years, transfer manufacturing technology to industrial automation and software companies, and finish the commercialization of the technology. The institutes are also going to virtualize products and manufacturing process by making CPS technology sophisticated to the extent that it is suitable for the manufacturing industry. After that, ETRI is planning to further develop modeling and simulation technology that enables the virtual creation of products and factories.
Currently, ETRI is conducting a joint research project to develop core technology in partnership with Fraunhofer, Europe's largest application-oriented research organization based in Germany.