<p style="font-size:20px; padding-top:0px;"> Distributed control and simulAtion platform to support an Ecosystem of DigitAL aUtomation developerS </p>


Distributed control and simulAtion platform to support an Ecosystem of DigitAL aUtomation developerS

The project

Daedalus is conceived to enable the full exploitation of the CPS (Cyber Physical System) concept of virtualized intelligence, through the adoption of a completely distributed automation platform based on IEC 61499 standard, fostering the creation of a Digital Ecosystem that could go beyond the current limits of manufacturing control systems and propose an ever-growing market of innovative solutions for the design, engineering, production and maintenance of plants’ automation. 

Daedalus proposes the deployment of an Automation Ecosystem for a multi-sided market based on a new generation of distributed intelligent devices (CPS) that, existing both in the real and in the cyber (simulated) world, can be aggregated, orchestrated and re-configured to exhibit complex manufacturing behaviours that optimize the performance of future shop floor.

The initiative focuses on key topics for the competitiveness of Europe and its companies, encompassing a variety of interdisciplinary tasks with the objective of deploying a digital platform and multi-sided ecosystem for the industrial automation domain. 

Within the project, the following objectives will be reached: 

  • Ease the conception, development and distribution of intelligence into CPS for real-time execution of orchestrated manufacturing tasks;
  • Foster interoperability of CPS from different vendors at orchestration-level (= “between CPS”);
  • Simplify the design, implementation and integration of optimal coordinating control intelligence of CPS;
  • Enable near-real-time co-simulation of manufacturing systems as a fully integrated “service” of a CPS;
  • Create a Digital Marketplace to simplify the matchmaking between offer and demand within the Ecosystem;
  • Conceive a multi-sided business model for the Automation Ecosystem and the corresponding business plans for its Complementors;
  • Foster the widespread acceptance of the Ecosystem platform to guarantee success and impact of Daedalus multi-sided market.

The project approach is based on 3 technological pillars, one platform pillar and a final ecosystem pillar:

1. IEC 61499-based reconfigurable automation platform for distributed orchestration of interoperable CPS;

2. “Simulation-as-a-service” for integrated near-real-time co-simulation of CPS behavioural models; 

    3. Advanced SDKs for simplified design of hierarchically distributed optimal control applications;

    4. Digital Marketplace for the creation of an interdependent ecosystem of automation solutions providers;

    5. Proof-of-concept showcases to accelerate the involvement of “complementors” and the maturation of the Ecosystem.

IEC 61499 for a multi-sided digital platform

Daedalus exploits the already existing features of the IEC 61499 international standard for distributed automation to propose a functional model for CPS that blends coherently real-time coordination of its automation tasks with the “anytime” provision of services to other elements of the automation pyramid. This extension of the IEC 61499 functionalities adopts the openness and interoperability of implementation that the standard proposes, guaranteeing that CPS developed independently will be able to communicate and be orchestrated.

Adopting IEC 61499 standard and the corresponding development language brings the engineering of automation CPS to the same level of technical opportunities that already characterize current IT world, with modularity, aggregation, inheritance, etc. finally becoming tools of the automation engineer. Future shop floors application development will be based on a much more distributed and concerted effort among the different stakeholders of this market, paving the way for a digital marketplace, where a new generation of Automation Complementors will jointly contribute to the creation of added value for the end-user, within the context of sustainable business models.

A Competence Centre to incubate and foster the Ecosystem

Understanding and accepting the major issue in deploying a Digital Marketplace for a multisided ecosystem – attracting users into the platform – Daedalus’ answer is the creation of a European Competence Centre to push the envelope of IEC 61499-based CPS as a disruptive innovation and become the catalyser to accelerate a widespread acceptance of the project platform at European level, hosting and incubating its Digital Marketplace.

The Competence Centre for IEC 61499 automation platform will have a three-fold role:

1. Hosting the technologies developed during Daedalus in a reference implementation that will demonstrate the effectiveness of the platform;

2. Supporting the deployment of multiple showcases of the technology, in order to bring to the market concrete examples of how it can be used;

3. Incubating the Multi-Sided Platform and the corresponding Digital Marketplace, while providing advanced services to Technology suppliers and Technology users in order to guarantee wide acceptance of Daedalus concepts.

Consortium Partners

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 723698.

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