VFF: Virtual Factory Framework

Overview of the Initiative

The VFF-MTP project, composed by four different RTD clusters, is based on the premises and framework defined in the EU–VFF project (that is the VFF-MTP, first and founding Cluster), financed under the 7FP. The EU project objective is to define the next generation Virtual Factory Framework. The EU-VFF promotes major time and cost savings while increasing performance in the design, management, evaluation and reconfiguration of new or existing facilities, supporting the capability to simulate dynamic complex behaviour over the whole life cycle of the Factory.

This approach identifies four key RTD Pillars:

I     Reference Model for factory planning. The concrete outcome is a Reference Model of Factory Planning having as foundation element a Factory Data Model, that takes into account the needs of a holistic and scalable modelling of real time management of manufacturing data and of collaborative engineering networks.

II    VF Manager core. It is meant to handle the common space of abstract objects representing the Factory. This representation is based on the common factory data model defined in Pillar I.

III  Functional Modules. The decoupled Functional Modules implement the various tools and services for the factory design, reconfiguration, management, … these modules operate independently on the same Common Space of Factory Abstract Object, defined in Pillar II.

IV   Integration of Knowledge at different layers as engine for the Pillar III modules. The primary objective is to use contextual knowledge to model a wider range of complex systems and support greater comprehension of the modelled phenomenon.

This VF Framework is the cornerstone for new  RTD clusters, meant to further support the Virtual Factory as a key technology that will yield a high impact on the next generation of manufacturing. Virtual Factory is also an important topic within the third pillar (advance industrial engineering) of ManuFuture TP.

Considering the EU-VFF as the founding cluster, VFF-MTP is composed by four clusters:

CLUSTER I – the first cluster is represented by the EU-VFF projects, whose objective and budget are specified in the related Description of Work. The key concept is presented in the above-mentioned description of the VFF’s 4 pillars.

CLUSTER II – Analysis and applicability of standard and neutral file formats to achieve real-time connection between Digital Factory tools and Real Factory.

CLUSTER III – Knowledge based control for reactive and proactive management of manufacturing system.

CLUSTER IV – Investigation of virtual models for the multi-site multi-nation Factory for the production of Customer Driven Shoes.




VFF Presentation