There is a common saying in industry, and more generally in engineering ""fast, cheap, reliable, choose two out of three"". This saying captures the trade-off between resources, production time, quality and performance that are inherent in every manufacturing process. Conceptually, different points on this ""Paretto front"" correspond to different production choices and directly affect the competitiveness of an industry. OPTIMAI aims to redefine and optimize this Pareto front through integrating several enabling technologies in a common framework.
The starting point for OPTIMAI is the smart instrumentation of production with AI-enabled sensors for quality inspection and monitoring, integrated on a secure middleware layer. To ensure data integrity and traceability, OPTIMAI foresees distributed ledger technology combined with a cyber-security module. Collected data are analysed using AI models for the early detection of defects and upstream causes of deficiencies. OPTIMAI also explores the virtualization of production using digital twins of processes and sensors that combined with AI models trained on production data, form a simulation engine for exploring production scenarios and optimizing production planning. Another innovative point is the rapid reconfiguration of production equipment via automated feedback from quality control results or via a context aware Augmented Reality ecosystem for fast and informed decision making.
At the same time OPTIMAI put emphasis on establishing a comprehensive ethics and regulatory framework for the deployment of its technology realizing that a production line is a workplace and as such concerns related to privacy, protection of human rights and safety have to be carefully addressed before any kind of technology is adopted. OPTIMAI foresees an extended pilot phase on three industrial sites covering a representative sample of European industry in order to maximize its impact and facilitate commercial uptake.