The client is a manufacturing firm in Finland that needed to increase efficiency and cut costs. There was a need to design a complicated enterprise software application to improve operations. Espeo Software was selected to provide development for one major piece of the large project that involved many vendors. The project is ongoing and is scheduled to conclude in February 2016.
The client is very satisfied with the work delivered by Espeo Software. They were able to produce a functional and efficient solution while helping other participants with their own technical issues. Espeo Software is highly recommended to others.
The main aim of the eScop project was to integrate different existing software tools for developing an innovative solution that allows supervisory and command capability of manufacturing systems in an open manner. The solution was to overcome the challenges on the shop floor control level, such as MES [manufacturing execution system] and deterministic and real-time control.
The true innovation of the proposed solution was the merging of the power of ontology knowledge and SOA [service-oriented architecture] control approaches for the manufacturing domain. Such approaches allowed the control and supervision processes to be automatically customized by the ontology. To integrate the suggested approach on the manufacturing equipment the embedded systems were used.
The result was a modular, fully open solution for the operational control of manufacturing equipment. This system allows easy and fast commissioning of new plants, achievement of "plug and produce" inclusion of new equipment, substitution of the traditional control model, based on hierarchical hardware architecture, with a single-level population of embedded systems plus a free series of pure software control levels.
The project had several quantified goals: reduce the cost of the system design from 2011 levels by 15 percent; achieve a 15 percent reduction in development cycles – especially in sectors requiring qualification or certification – from 2011 levels; manage a complexity increase of 25 percent, with 10 percent effort reduction, compared with 2011; reduce the effort and time required for revalidation and recertification of systems after making changes by 15 percent, compared with 2011 levels.
The eScop platform was a modular system composed of three main layers that were accordingly integrated to go, bottom to up, from the command and monitoring control of the production system – the physical layer; to the management of the production system model – the representation layer; and finally to the integration and control capability of all services provided by the orchestration layer.
Espeo was leading the development of the orchestration layer, which was built using Java as a main language, the Vert.x platform that allowed for outstanding performance, and REST services for integration with other layers. Espeo was involved in the project for its whole duration, about 36 months.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Espeo was one of the top-performing industry partners in the project consortium. The company also received great feedback from independent external reviewers who assessed the quality of the system provided as a result of the work managed by Espeo.
The orchestration layer was successfully implemented for two different use cases and it proved its functionality and high reliability. Espeo Software not only provided great technical skills, but also was able to coordinate the work of several international partners in this long-running software development project. They managed the project very well, were responsive, and displayed a cooperative attitude to help other partners solve technical issues in other parts of the system.
"Espeo Software not only provided great technical skills, but also was able to coordinate the work of several international partners in this long-running software development project. They managed the project very well, were responsive, and displayed a cooperative attitude to help other partners solve technical issues in other parts of the system."
Johanna Rytkönen, Project Manager, Manufacturing System, Tampere University of Technology