ETS researchers propose a solution for SMEs

A Flexible, Reconfigurable Production Line to Better Respond to Crises

Thursday, May 7, 2020
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A Feasibility Framework for SMEs” aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) wishing to reorient themselves to produce medical equipment during the COVID-19 crisis. 

A team of researchers from the École de technologie supérieure (ETS) has published a set of guidelines entitled “Retooling for COVID-19: A Feasibility Framework for SMEs” aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) wishing to reorient themselves to produce medical equipment during the COVID-19 crisis. 

While these guidelines, created by Research Associate Aamirah Mohammed Ashraf and Professors Jean-Pierre Kenné and Lucas Hof, were drawn up to respond to the urgent needs of health care personnel, they could also be applied to any business wishing to put in place more flexible, completely reconfigurable manufacturing systems. 

At a time where SMEs are preparing recovery plans, business leaders will find it useful to consider a plan to reduce risks related to large-scale crises such as we are currently experiencing. Could the solution be found in increasing their manufacturing systems’ flexibility? In quickly reconfiguring to meet needs generated by such a crisis?  

The guidelines proposed in this document are based on Industry 4.0 research: they are designed to promote the implementation of fully flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems.  

Industry 4.0

Launched in 2011, the Industry 4.0 concept constitutes a technological revolution that leads firms to move from mass production to mass customization while responding quickly to changing market demands and client requirements, by building fully agile and automated “intelligent plants”.  Quebec and Canadian SMEs will benefit from adopting and implementing this concept in readiness for future crises. 

To obtain the guide:

Retooling for COVID-19: A Feasibility Framework for SMEs” aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (PDF)

Jean-Pierre Kenné.

lucas+hof+ets

Lucas Hof.

Aamirah+Mohammed+Ashraf

Aamirah Mohammed Ashraf.

About the authors 

Aamirah Mohammed Ashraf, Research Associate to ETS Professors Lucas Hof and Jean-Pierre Kenné, is currently working on a research project in partnership with Festo Didactic.  His research interests focus on intelligent supply chains and feasibility studies for Industry 4.0 implementation in the manufacturing sector. 

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Lucas Hof has more than 10 years’ experience in research, entrepreneurship and industry. An active member of ETS’ Dynamo and Numerix laboratories and the Innovation 4.0 Network, Professor Hof is interested in the issues of transforming from a linear to a more sustainable circular economy, as well as the development of circular manufacturing models and re-manufacturing technologies aligned with Industry 4.0 principles. He has authored some 40 journal and conference papers and holds one patent. 

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jean-Pierre Kenné specializes in the modelling and development of control policies for production systems and supply chain operations planning in dynamic and unpredictable environments. His work has contributed to the advancement of knowledge in various disciplines including operations management and production and maintenance optimization in closed loop supply chains (including reverse logistics).  His research interests focus on quality integration, degradation, and the logistics of returns related to production activities as well as the environmental and human factors related to their management.  He has also collaborated with many enterprises to resolve issues related to optimization problems.  

Information: 
Chantal Crevier  
Communication Services  
514 396-8800, ext. 7893

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