In the knowledge age dynamic networked organisations will safely enable all stakeholders to be purposefully involved in manufacturing programs. Increased cooperation and collaboration among enterprises during the product lifecycle is a global demand. In line with this demand MAPPER contributes prototypes and other results towards the following vision for European manufacturing:

In 2010, agile manufacturing companies can inexpensively form collaborative networks and quickly adapt to market demands.

The vision statement contributes to the more encompassing vision of agile manufacturing. MAPPER will contribute to the realisation of the vision by aiming at the following overall objective:

MAPPER will enable fast and flexible manufacturing by providing methodology, infrastructure and reusable services for participative engineering in networked manufacturing enterprises, demonstrating practical benefits and scientific values in three industrial pilots.

Core collaboration challenges in manufacturing networks (arrows) and the MAPPER collaboration platform

The main expected S&T results from the project are the core components in the MAPPER collaboration platform as illustrated in Figure 1:


  • Reconfigurable visual enterprise models of products, processes and other enterprise aspects. Models described in business domain terminologies enable the cultivation of a web of shared understanding among stakeholders, and management of complex and dynamic enterprises.
  • Participative engineering methodologies, enabling joint product and process design, interdisciplinary and inter-organisational collaboration throughout multiple product life-cycles.
  • Customisable work environments for different stakeholders, roles and tasks. The platform will enable solution providers and users to jointly customise and configure such environments.
  • Secure collaboration platform, enabling enterprises to access each others engineering tools and product data in a collaborative, yet secure manner.

The MAPPER research approach has been business and user-driven. Early and continuous solution development in industrial pilot cases will govern the development of methodologies, platform and services. Extensive reuse of previous work performed in projects, like: EXTERNAL and E-COLLEG allows MAPPER to focus on establishing a holistic suite of solutions for product and process design and engineering. The methodology and its accompanying categories of services will:

  • - Improve efficiency of performing manufacturing activities by supporting integrated planning, management, and operations of distributed and participative engineering.
  • - Support innovation and continuous improvement of the organisation by providing services for defining, planning, managing, performing, adapting and re-engineering tasks.
  • - Enable learning from previous experience on the organisational, the team and the individual level. This is facilitated through capturing, evaluating, and reusing models, and task execution settings.
  • - Provide servicesand constructs to support all main objectives of enterprise modelling and solutions development.

Using MAPPER results, enterprises can transform into dynamically networked organisations. Through integrating, holistic views of the joint enterprise, today’s friction and process losses can be considerably lowered. This will result in more effective operations, innovative designs, and increased business opportunities. Our approach seeks to extend Europe's competitive advantage, such as the agility, skills and competence of the workforce, and the requisite strengths of diverse economies in the new Union.