The challenge facing companies is to provide the right products in the right quantity at the right place and time, but as product life cycles become ever shorter while technology evolves ever more quickly, efficient and responsive supply chains are crucial for maintaining competitiveness.
These new supply chains are increasingly characterised by networks of cooperating companies linked through novel technologies, and the EU funds a number of research projects in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) for enterprise networking.
A cluster of such projects, known as AITPL (ambient intelligence technologies for the product lifecycle) and funded under the IST priority of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), has produced a report documenting the results of their first year of work. The report aims to identify success strategies for further research projects in the field of cooperative production networks, with a particular focus on the automobile sector.
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