Companies want to provide their customers with highly individualized products so as to gain sustainable advantages over their competitors. The high degree of individualization has also deep effects on the production: it demands a vast amount of highly specialized tools for certain steps in the production process and a frequent changing of machinery settings and tools. As a result, the management of production resources and their coordination become quite dynamic and complex, so that existing resource management systems are too static to handle them.
This paper shows how the use of pervasive and mobile computing can help companies to address the resulting problems. It derives the requirements and identifies resulting research challenges, especially pertaining to the mobility and dynamic state of the tools. Finally, the Nexus platform is presented and it is shown how some of the identified challenges are addressed.
Smart Factory, Production Environment, Mobile Computing, Context-aware Applications