The next step forward for the high-tech systems
manufacturing domain is to integrate operational data
into a product's development lifecycle. While there is an
understanding that data can lead to improved processes,
less is understood about the necessary roadmaps to get
there. The challenge taken up by the ITEA project Reflexion,
comprising eight partners from Belgium and the
Netherlands, was to support the paradigm shift
emerging in high-tech industry from selling 'boxes' to
supporting 'integrated solutions', by providing significant
improvements in quality and stability during early
product rollout. The objectives were defined as follows:
to react to unforeseen problems or emerging needs
in a fast, cost-effective way by augmenting products
with an introspective layer of data sensing and data
analytics, thereby creating value out of the high-tech
system’s operational data which is still characterised
by legacy choices based on infrastructural and
analytical approaches. Then propagate this knowledge
(automatically) back into the product development
lifecycle and the service and maintenance flow.
Reflexion's success does not lie in a product – a nonexistent
'silver bullet' to be applied in all circumstances
– but in integrating pre-existing frameworks to improve
the consortium partners' processes. There are a wide
number of open-source frameworks that specialise in
data science, backed by huge communities. Through
Reflexion, high-tech systems companies were exposed
to these frameworks, helping them to understand
what exists and how it can be used to improve their
own data management. The addtional introspective
layer of data sensing and analytics allowed partners to
valorise their operational data and to use the newfound
knowledge to improve the development cycle, services
and maintenance. Reflexion supported them to create a
so-called 'digital loop'.
The application of data science in manufacturing was new
back in 2015 when data use predominantly targeted the
control engineering of mechatronic systems. Reflexion
introduced another perspective of data exploitation
providing a new added value. As a result, the market
penetration for the participating tool and service providers
grew by 10% in terms of both improved product offering
and extended services.
The Dutch SME Axini has further developed and improved
its platform for scriptless test automation. The unique
property of the Axini approach is that AI and formal method
algorithms automate the entire test process. Axini has
productised the project’s prototypes into its platform and
has proven that the new approach is 50% faster and more
effective than all other alternatives in the market.
In general, the Dutch SME SynerScope saw a 30% reduction
in time spent troubleshooting performance issues at the
customer site by using structured log analysis and analytics
on interaction logs.
The Belgian SME Yazzoom has further developed and
improved the algorithms in its Yanomaly software for
anomaly detection and predictive analytics on machine
data. In particular, algorithms were created and validated
for semi-automatic parsing and anomaly detection in log
Additionally, for the OEMs the impact of Reflexion on
the growth in turnover and / or market penetration for
selected applications was projected at 20%.
Canon Production Printing did agile development with its
launching customers for its new inkjet printer. 4GB of daily
data from the printer was exploited with the development
of an Optimal Diagnosis Analysis System (ODAS). Beyond
automatic analysis, they managed to support quick
knowledge sharing between the company’s different
specialists to reach a common understanding of the
situation and decide together on what to enhance.
By exploiting data more efficiently, Philips and Barco can
now create medical equipment with a higher uptime,
allowing to diagnose or operate on more patients per day.
In addition, thanks to Reflexion, Philips partnered up with
Yazzoom for further research resulting in the development
of a platform for both further research and new services.
Siemens Industry Software has made its first steps into
machine learning. It resulted in the development of the
new Simcenter Studio tool released in 2021 as a completely
new solution in the Simcenter portfolio.
Reflexion turned out to be genuine successful collaboration.