vf-OS is a Research and Innovation Action within the European Commission's H2020 program, concluded in 2019, that contributed to the state of the art in Factories of the Future by providing new research results, concrete applications and demonstrations of the technological advancements in concrete use cases and environments. The project is not limited to providing theory-driven concepts, but will deliver the technological means to realise these concepts in software.
vf-OS enabled the Manufacturing Operating system by providing the following functionalities:
vf-OS provides a Virtual Factory System Kernel
A specific set of libraries and infrastructure for vf-OS applications to be built upon which interact with each other.
The vf-OS Kernel is the core of the operating system, responsible for providing key system-wide vf-OS resources and providing a set of specific services, which are open and accessible.
The kernel executes vf-OS processes and applications while utilising the available computational/system resources in the most optimal manner.
vf-OS provides Virtual Factory Device Drivers and Open APIs
A set of modules that virtualise a factory’s real assets and connect them to their virtual images in the vf-OS.
Plug-and-Play mechanisms and device drivers are being developed for seamless/open access and smart virtualisation of the factory resources.
Open APIs, interconnection modules and drivers serve as seamless and secure interoperability mechanisms between the factory and the vf-OS applications.
vf-OS provides Virtual Factory Middleware and Databus
A set of modules for integrating data from arbitrary sources, including, but not limited to CPS, smart objects, RFID, and wireless sensor networks. Cloud-based data storage (but also on-premise) are utilised in order to avoid vendor lock-in issues and the failure of the whole system. Also, consideration is given if a particular Cloud-based data store is not available anymore. Accessibility of data is facilitated through connectors and wrappers.
vf-OS provides an Open Application Development Kit
A complete and fully open Applications Development Kit addressed to the community with the aim of guarantee the growth of the specific applications running in vf-OS for covering all industrial sectors and concrete industrial scenarios including for those beyond the project. It allows third parties to develop their own applications and facilitate their integration into the vf-OS Platform thus widening and opening this way the development of specific third parties and specialised applications.
vf-OS provides Cloud Manufacturing Framework
A Cloud Platform allocating the core business functionalities of vf-OS, including the marketplace and monetisation means as well as the ability to demand, advertise and lease/purchase manufacturing Applications and third-party services. Users utilise this to request functionality, software developers introduce new applications running in vf-OS based on these requirements, service providers provide services (e.g. hosting), and users download/purchase and run the built applications either in-cloud or on-premise.
vf-OS provides Virtual Factory Components
The individual technical components to build the functionalities of vf-OS are modular and provide open interfaces. Therefore they can be easily integrated into other systems as well as incorporate future components, can integrate other technologies developed within current and future factories of the future projects, and can be used together with existing software systems within companies. In addition, the Open Applications Development Kit provides methodologies and interfaces to develop the individual applications.