Advancing Smart Manufacturing in Europe: Experiences from Two Decades of Research and Innovation Projects

Paul W.P.J. Grefen (Corresponding author), Irene T.P. Vanderfeesten, Konstantinos Traganos, Zuzanna Domagala-Schmidt, Julia van der Vleuten

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In the past two decades, a large amount of attention has been devoted to the introduction of smart manufacturing concepts and technologies into industrial practice. In Europe, these efforts have been supported by European research and innovation programs, bringing together research and application parties. In this paper, we provide an overview of a series of four content-wise connected projects on the European scale that are aimed at advancing smart manufacturing, with a focus on connecting processes on smart factory shop floors to manufacturing equipment on the one hand and enterprise-level business processes on the other hand. These projects cover several tens of application cases across Europe. We present our experiences in the form of a single, informal longitudinal case study, highlighting both the major advances and the current limitations of developments. To organize these experiences, we place them in the context of the well-known RAMI4.0 reference framework for Industry 4.0 (covering the ISA-95 standard). Then, we analyze the experiences, both the positive ones and those including problems, and draw our learnings from these. In doing so, we do not present novel technological developments in this paper—these are presented in the papers we refer to—but concentrate on the main issues we have observed to guide future developments in research efforts and industrial innovation in the smart industry domain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2022


Funding: This research was partially supported by the SHOP4CF Project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 873087. OEDIPUS (Operate European Digital Industry with Products and Services) [32] was a research and innovation program funded by the European Institute of Technology under its EIT Digital overall program. OEDIPUS covered several use cases between 2017 and 2019. Within these, we were involved in the Print 4.0 use case, which focused on the application of flexible end-to-end process orchestration of manufacturing processes in smart printing factories [33]. For reasons of brevity, we will refer to this use case as the OEDIPUS project (or simply OEDIPUS) in this paper. Like HORSE, OEDIPUS concentrates on a single manufacturing site and hence can be positioned similarly in the

FundersFunder number
European Union 's Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme873087
European Institute of Innovation and Technology


    • smart manufacturing
    • Industry 4.0
    • intelligent factory
    • smart factory
    • manufacturing process
    • technology innovation
    • RAMI 4.0
    • RAMI4.0
    • Technology innovation
    • Manufacturing process
    • Intelligent factory
    • Smart factory
    • Smart manufacturing


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