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Article

The HORSE Project: The Application of Business Process Management for Flexibility in Smart Manufacturing

1
Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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Department of Information Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands, PO Box 2960, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands
3
Thomas Regout International B.V., Maastricht Industrieweg 40, 6219 NR Maastricht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 4145; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10124145
Received: 19 May 2020 / Revised: 11 June 2020 / Accepted: 11 June 2020 / Published: 16 June 2020
Several high-tech manufacturing technologies are emerging to meet the demand for mass customized products. These technologies include configurable robots, augmented reality and the Internet-of-Things. Manufacturing enterprises can leverage these new technologies to pursue increased flexibility, i.e., the ability to perform a larger variety of activities within a shorter time. However, the flexibility offered by these new technologies is not fully exploited, because current operations management techniques are not dynamic enough to support high variability and frequent change. The HORSE Project investigated several of the new technologies to find novel ways to improve flexibility, as part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The purpose of the project was to develop a system, integrating these new technologies, to support efficient and flexible manufacturing. This article presents the core result of the project: a reference architecture for a manufacturing operations management system. It is based on the application and extension of business process management (BPM) to manage dynamic manufacturing processes. It is argued that BPM can complement current operations management techniques by acting as an orchestrator in manufacturing processes augmented by smart technologies. Building on well-known information systems’ architecting frameworks, design science research is performed to determine how BPM can be applied and adapted in smart manufacturing operations. The resulting reference architecture is realized in a concrete HORSE system and deployed and evaluated in ten practical cases, of which one is discussed in detail. It is shown that the developed system can flexibly orchestrate the manufacturing process through vertical control of all agents, and dynamic allocation of agents in the manufacturing process. Based on that, we conclude that BPM can be applied to overcome some of the obstacles toward increased flexibility and smart manufacturing. View Full-Text
Keywords: business process management; manufacturing operations; flexibility; horizontal and vertical integration; smart factory; industry 4.0; industrial internet-of-things business process management; manufacturing operations; flexibility; horizontal and vertical integration; smart factory; industry 4.0; industrial internet-of-things
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MDPI and ACS Style

Erasmus, J.; Vanderfeesten, I.; Traganos, K.; Keulen, R.; Grefen, P. The HORSE Project: The Application of Business Process Management for Flexibility in Smart Manufacturing. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 4145. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10124145

AMA Style

Erasmus J, Vanderfeesten I, Traganos K, Keulen R, Grefen P. The HORSE Project: The Application of Business Process Management for Flexibility in Smart Manufacturing. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(12):4145. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10124145

Chicago/Turabian Style

Erasmus, Jonnro, Irene Vanderfeesten, Konstantinos Traganos, Ruud Keulen, and Paul Grefen. 2020. "The HORSE Project: The Application of Business Process Management for Flexibility in Smart Manufacturing" Applied Sciences 10, no. 12: 4145. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10124145

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