The concept of virtual enterprise, as a temporary alliance of enterprises that come together to share skills and resources in order to better respond to business opportunities and whose cooperation is supported by computer networks, challenges the way industrial production systems are planned and managed. The materialization of this paradigm, although enabled by recent developments in communication technologies and computer networks, requires the definition of a reference architecture and the design and development of a supporting platform and appropriate protocols and mechanisms. This paper describes the current approach being developed by the Esprit project PRODNET II, which aims to design and develop an open platform to support industrial virtual enterprises with special focus on the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). One of the main components of this platform is the Cooperation Layer that contains all functionalities and support information for the interconnection between a company and its partners in the virtual enterprise. A detailed description of this system is presented, including the management of interactions based on standardized information (EDI, STEP), workflow management, communications infrastructure and safety aspects. The re-engineering needs for a PPC system to be integrated in this environment are also discussed. Finally some advanced coordination functionalities are proposed.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of ICE’97- Int. Conf. On Concurrent Enterprising|
|Publication status||Published - 8 Oct 1997|
|Event||ICE'97, 4th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising - Nottingham, United Kingdom|
Duration: 8 Oct 1997 → 10 Oct 1997
|Conference||ICE'97, 4th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising|
|Period||8/10/97 → 10/10/97|