Industrial manufacturing processes today show an exponential complexity growth rate and the human operator are flooded by an overwhelming complexity and information. In addition, the higher and higher production rates enforced in modern production plants do not allow any human operator to control the process efficiently with traditional tools. Therefore, innovative paradigms and technologies to cope with manufacturing processes must be explored, mainly based on massive adoption of ICT solutions. Inspired by the most recent advances in information and communication technologies developed in the Future Internet framework and, in particular, in the PLATINO project, this paper presents an innovative architectural solution to improve the capabilities and performance of modern production plants: the so-called “cognitive middleware for manufacturing”.
This architectural paradigm aims at stressing the use and integration of ICT technologies (e.g. semantic, middleware, optimization algorithms, …) into an holistic framework to be transparently adopted into existing factories as well as embedded in the design of future ones. This solution has been formalized following the guidelines and expectations depicted in the MANUFUTURE Technology Platform SRA, the most valuable EU Organization performing research in this field and represents an innovative cross-fertilization between Future Internet and Future Manufacturing.