Smart Factory: a Necessary Step towards Manufacturing Companies Competitiveness

During the last 20 years, manufacturing companies were able to get enough competitiveness to be present on national or international markets by relying on quality procedures and streamlining their internal organizations and through strategies like Lean or Six Sigma.

To be competitive on current harsh global markets, enterprises have now to make a step further in order to build up and sustain a full series of skills. They must be:
• forward-looking, to regularly propose innovative products/services;
• focus, to reduce time to market and steadily increase productivity;
• flexible, to respond to continuous fast changes in customer requirements;
• adaptive, to follow quick technology and price (energy, raw material…) evolutions;
• reactive, to comply with incessantly growing stringent specifications customization needs, quality requirements, etc.;
• environmental friendly, allowing for the whole product lifecycle.

To comply with such exigencies, enterprises must get the engagement of their staff and develop new approaches of manufacturing, such as the integration of data with process expertise to enable proactive and intelligent manufacturing decisions in dynamic environments. This new manufacturing approach is the basis for the development of “smart factories”.

This is supported by a wide range of technologies that are going through major disruptions, including 3D printing, sensors networks, connected objects and internet of things, robotics, modeling and simulation, augmented reality, data analytics and knowledge management.

The objective of CaFFEET 2014 ( is to provide the state of the art of research development, industrial case studies and start-ups products on smart factory with a specific focus on energy. It is foreseen to address questions like:
– How does smart manufacturing improve process operations?
– How does smart manufacturing impact local energy management?
– What will be the impact of smart manufacturing on utility’s business models?

With presentations and discussions related to (for example) sensors, data analytics and case studies.