An automation approach based on workflows and software agents for Industrial Product-Service Systems
Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2) fulfil specific customer needs. This often implies the flexible reaction to changing requirements, impacting the adaption effort for the IPS2 provider. Additionally the modelling of individual business processes for the IPS2 delivery imposes a challenge to the provider. A great variety of process types, ranging from production to maintenance process, has to be covered in order to ensure a smooth and economically feasible IPS2 operation. Therefore, an approach for the modelling and automation of IPS2 delivery processes is of specific interest. In this paper an IPS2 automation approach will be presented that allows the modelling and deployment of the specific business processes and enables the integration of service shares into the automation solution of the product share. The presented approach allows for an easy adaption of the product share configuration. To achieve this goal, a workflow management system represents the backbone of all customer provider relationships that distributes the tasks and responsibilities to the IPS2 network partners according to the IPS2 business model. For machine-oriented service shares the workflow management system interacts with an implemented Java-based software agent system by means of web services. Lastly, an application example of a prototypical IPS2 in the micro production domain will be given. The control system architecture and its implementation will be described and the application use case of manufacturing in the area of micro milling machine tools as a service share will be presented. An outlook of further work and future potential will complete the paper.
Published in: Procedia CIRP, 10.1016/j.procir.2015.02.026, Elsevier