Being efficient in adapting to change in product variety and volume is of great importance if Swedish vehicle industry is to continue to be competitive on the world market. The VirtCom project aims to result in a completely integrated work chain from virtual preparation, through automatically generated PLC code, to virtual and physical commissioning. Having such an integrated work chain, with software tools for optimization and verification, achieves sustainable production facilities adaptable to future requirements on flexibility, availability, product variety, human safety, etc. Implementation time is estimated to be reduced by at least 50%. In addition, energy consumption and other environmental influences of the production processes are expected to be reduced by 25%.
This will give the project partners a definitive competitive edge. But also SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) will benefit from the results. In many cases, introduction of a fully automated manufacturing system is overwhelming for SMEs, both economically and managerially. Having available software tools and methods to help manage the whole preparation, implementation, and commissioning progression will certainly lower the threshold for automating SME manufacturing systems. This will have the effect of increasing SME productivity, many of which are subcontractors to the VirtCom project partners, and thus Swedish manufacturing productivity as a whole.