ReconfiDurable, collaborative project

Design and management of reconfigurable and sustainable production systems
Projet ANR
Approval no ANR-21-CE10-0019
Start: 2022
End: 2026

Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (RMS) are production systems designed to be able to adapt to changes in demand. Their flexibility can also make it possible to design sustainable production systems

Today, to answer at customer expectations, Industries must be able to quickly produce customizable products, such as a car with certain options (driving assistance, GPS, body color, etc.). Customers' needs and desires are changing very quickly. They must therefore set up reconfigurable production systems, capable of adapting to changes. They are also increasingly concerned that their production systems are environmentally friendly. The industrial sector is the largest consumer of energy and the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. To remain competitive, manufacturers must be able to reconfigure their systems quickly and efficiently, both economically and environmentally.  This project aims to increase the efficiency and robustness of production systems.

The objective of the ReconfiDurable project is to set up an effective methodology for the integration of sustainable development criteria in the design and reconfiguration of MSRs.

In addition, this project aims, in a more global approach, to federate actors around this issue of existing skills in engineering schools, business schools and universities in order to create a center of excellence in the field. This project is funded by the ANR to the tune of 580 KE over 4 years.

In the framework of the ReconfiDurable project, we will focus on four objectives in particular:

  1. Consider the entire life cycle from the design and during reconfiguration, including the dismantling and reuse of equipment modules and equipment.
  2. Increase the lifespan of production systems by implementing a reconfiguration methodology.
  3. Increase the efficiency of industrial systems by reducing energy or material consumption, waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. Develop hazard management methods to ensure the stability of the system and its ability to function.


Method used

The methodology is based on the principle of modularity of RMS. Indeed, RMSs are designed based on  predefined equipment modules, which can be rearranged, moved and replaced quickly using the following principles: modularity, scalability, integrability, convertibility, reliability, maintainability and customization.

 The aim of this project is therefore to define strategies for choosing these modules and optimization methods in order to make systems sustainable throughout their life cycle (strategic, tactical and operational decision-making levels).  This will involve choosing equipment modules to be used and assigning production operations to these modules, taking into account demand, the types of products to be manufactured and their constraints as well as uncertainties.

The 3 steps to consider are design, reconfiguration and real-time management, and sustainable development criteria will be integrated into each step. In addition to these three stages, two others will be added.

Shéma méthode reconfigurable

The first represents a preliminary step of identification and modelling of the criteria to be evaluated and integrated. The second phase will be a test and validation stage via industrial case studies. In this project, we will focus mainly on the environmental and economic dimensions. So our criteria will be technological (drift, quality, reliability), economic (cost, time, resources used), environmental (energy, emissions, etc.) and organizational (human factors, skills, safety and health, etc.).

Our contribution does not aim to take all the criteria into account completely, but rather to propose an approach that integrates sustainability with the other design, management and reconfiguration criteria in the face of uncertainties and hazards. The techniques used will be based on multi-scale modeling, process modeling, combinatorial optimization, uncertainty optimization, robustness analysis of the solutions obtained, discrete event simulation and learning techniques..


Role of the school and its partners

It is a collaborative project coordinated by IMT Atlantique, with various partners whose aim is to develop a centre of excellence in the field built with French engineering schools, business schools and universities with the R&D contribution of industrialists.


Role in the operation: The LS2N monitors the progress of the project and coordinates the various actors. LS2N researchers will contribute scientifically to the project's main research axes, thanks to their expertise in the design of modular and reconfigurable production systems and in optimization in uncertainty. They will supervise interns, doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows on these themes. 


All the partners (5 academics and 1 industrialist) will contribute scientifically to this project, each bringing their expertise.

Kedge Business School will focus on issues of sustainability assessment, circular economy and industrial ecology.

Aix Marseille Université (UMR CNRS LIS Laboratoire d'Informatique et Systèmes) will deal with the joint optimization of scheduling and production ranges and risk analysis. 

Mines Saint-Etienne (UMR CNRS LIMOS Laboratory of Computer Science, Modeling and Optimization of Systems) will work on the integration of social and environmental criteria in optimization.

ENSAM (Bordeaux and Metz centers, LCFC Laboratory design-manufacture and order) will provide its expertise for the design of systems taking into account the hazards and the management of the end of life of the sytem.

The company Automatique et Industrie (AI France) will provide case studies and data, bring its industrial vision to the discussion on sustainability assessment, participate in the validation of models, on representative use cases and in partnership with its customers.


Next steps

The next steps are to refine the definition of sustainability metrics and integrate them into the methods under development, as well as new methods, for the design and management of reconfigurable manufacturing systems.


Alexandre Dolgui, responsable DAPI

Audrey Derrien, du département DAPI

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