European SMEs do not currently have access to advanced management systems and to collaborative tools due to their restricted resources. SMEs manufacturing value chains are distributed and dependent on complex information and material flows requiring new approaches to reduce the complexity of manufacturing management systems. They need ubiquitous tools supporting collaboration among value chain partners and providing advanced algorithms to achieve holistic global and local optimization of manufacturing assets and to respond faster and more efficiently to unforeseen changes. C2NET aims to collect the most promising results from R&D EU Framework Program projects and build a novel Cloud Architecture to provide SMEs affordable tools (in term of cost and usability) to help them to overcome the current economic crisis and to enhance their competitiveness in the global economy.

The goal of C2NET Project is the creation of cloud-enabled tools for supporting the SMEs supply network optimization of manufacturing and logistic assets based on collaborative demand, production and delivery plans. C2NET Project will provide a scalable real-time architecture, platform and software to allow the supply network partners:

  • to master complexity and data security of the supply network,
  • to store and share product, process and logistic data,
  • to optimize the manufacturing assets by the collaborative computation of production plans,
  • to optimize the logistics assets through efficient delivery plans and
  • to render the complete set of supply chain management information on the any digital mobile device (PC, tablets, smartphones) of decision makers enabling them to monitor, visualize, control, share and collaborate.

The C2NET Project will generate a Cloud Architecture composed by:

  • The Data Collection Framework (C2NET DCF) to provide software components and hardware devices for IoT-based continuous data collection from supply network resources. This supports the collaborative manufacturing functionality while taking advantage of Cloud environments, which can enable solutions that are highly scalable, available and fault-tolerant.
  • The Optimizer (C2NET OPT) to support manufacturing networks in the optimization of manufacturing and logistics assets by the collaborative computation of production plans, replenishment plans and delivery plans in order to achieve shorter delivery times, better speed and consistency of schedules, higher use of productive resources and energy savings.
  • The Collaboration Tools (C2NET COT) for providing the Collaborative Manufacturing Network Platform with a set of tools in charge of managing the agility of the collaborative processes.
  • The Cloud Platform (C2NET CPL) to integrate the data module, the optimizers and the collaborative tools in the cloud and allow the access to process optimization resources to all the participants in the value chain to support their decisions and process enhancement. It will provide the base for the integration of the different modules for generating a collaborative working environment for manufacturing network partners.

The C2NET Project results and its use in a collaborative and mobile value chain, for supporting intra-plant and extra-plant processes, are represented as follows: