Fewer than 2% of European small and medium-sized manufacturers use agile, advanced technologies such as robotics or AI. These technologies and most importantly the data that stems from their use are however a must to respond quickly to changing customer needs and dynamic markets while still controlling costs and quality from a full vertical perspective. Both DIH² and TRINITY, two projects aiming to encourage the use of robotics to answer the current Agile Manufacturing challenges for factories, intend to foster this integration by breaking information silos and collecting data from robotised and/or highly automated manufacturing SMEs. Such data can later be analysed to optimise processes for all manufacturing actors beyond the shop floor, which includes not only factory and enterprise levels but also a number of verticals that may be horizontally connected across the whole value chain.
The number of challenges to materialise a data space that serves this purpose are countless. They range from the technical challenges associated with the proper access and management of robotics-based production data at low levels to the demanding requirements set by organisations in terms of security, privacy and sovereignty of sensitive data.