Resource virtualization: A core technology for developing cyber-physical production systems


Smart factory in the context of Industry 4.0 is the next wave of smart manufacturing solution to empower companies to rapidly configure manufacturing facilities and processes to enable the fast production of individualized products at change scales. A key enabling technology for developing a smart factory is resource virtualization or creation of digital twins. The presented research fills the gap that the industry needs a practical methodology to enable themselves to easily virtualize their manufacturing assets for developing a smart factory solution. A test-driven resource virtualization framework is proposed as the recommendation for the industry to adopt to create digital twins for a smart factory. The proposed framework draws inspiration from past resource virtualization outcomes with special attention paid to the usability of the proposed framework in a business environment. It provides a straightforward process for companies to create digital twins by specifying the digital twin hierarchy, the information to be modeled, and the modeling method. To validate the proposed framework, a case study was undertaken at an international company, to create digital twins for all their manufacturing resources. The testing result showed that the proposed resource virtualization framework and developed tools are easy to use in a practical business environment to virtualize complex factory setups in the cyberspace. © 2018

Journal of Manufacturing Systems
Yuqian Lu
Yuqian Lu
Principle Investigator / Senior Lecturer

My research interests include smart manufacturing systems, industrial AI and robotics.