eFactory is by design, an open market infrastructure for European manufacturing.
eFactory sees itself as a catalyst for an ecosystem of commercially viable, but smaller, platforms that partly compete and partly cooperate in order to deliver value to their customers. Such an ecosystem must inevitably be federated and it must over time develop governance mechanisms that ensure stable growth and avoid the development of gross imbalances.
An interoperability layer that interlinks digital platforms, automation and enterprise systems, CPS, IoT objects and cloud services through an interoperable data-exchange mechanism. The Data Spine is built on top of extensible and open-source LinkSmart® technology, enabling secure system abstraction, data management, business process orchestration, service provisioning, and multi-tier supply chain intelligence. The Data Spine implements industry standards and follows the micro-services pattern to create a modular platform that can be extended beyond the base platforms.
Federated Platform Services
A collaboration infrastructure that streamlines communication across digital platforms, automation systems and applications through the interoperable Data Spine. This enables European companies to be part of a smart manufacturing ecosystem, to setup cross-organisational collaborations, optimise their processes and increase network competitiveness. Core services include security, user management, Single Sign-On, privacy, governance, marketplace and also an SDK will be provided to enable third parties to develop and validate custom prototypes on the eFactory platform.
The eFactory platform integrates market ready or reference implementations of the smart factory and Industry 4.0 tools from project partners. The available tools and services cover the complete lifecycle of production and logistic processes, validated by the three cross-domain pilot scenarios brought forward by the project partners. Examples of the tools include e.g. data gateways, distributed production planning and scheduling, distributed process design, monitoring, decision support, process optimisation, risk management and blockchain based trust and message exchange.
Part of the federated platform services is a multi-sided marketplace framework that interlinks and enhances the existing marketplaces of the 4 base platforms. The framework supports cross-platform utilisation of tools and services to enable the uptake of the latest solutions and link solution providers and users across multiple platforms and sectors. The marketplace framework includes mechanisms for service discovery, automated match-making and recommendation mechanisms. Moreover, an accounting service tracks the user activities, platform use, and utilisation of different tools and services.