Concept of CloudFlow
CloudFlow has the ambition to provide a Cloud Computing infrastructure based on existing technology and standards that allows SME software vendors to offer current and future customers (being it SME or bigger companies) new cloud services along and across the engineering and manufacturing chain - even vendor independent. CloudFlow covers Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), especially. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) including pre- and post-processing, simulation of mechatronic systems (Functional Digital Mock-Up – FDMU) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) including data archival.
CloudFlow will enable Users from different engineering disciplines to manage large amounts of heterogeneous Data in an interoperable manner, allowing for making results available as a standard Archival Information Package (AIP) both for documentation and for reuse. CloudFlow will provide ‘single point of access’ to computational (simulation) and data management Services on high-performance clusters (HPCs) and the possibility to use services in Workflows, i.e. execution of chains for services or services-in-a-loop in a synchronized and orchestrated manner, as well as to use services in a cooperative and collaborative manner, e.g. for co-simulating mechatronic systems, for joining up CAD/CAM with flow simulation of blades for turbine machines. Thus, it does decisively go beyond just providing individual data exchange or singular compute services.
CloudFlow will establish a Competence Center from the very beginning to call for Application Experiments , to handle proposals by the CAD/CAM, CAE, Systems and PLM community and their execution on the CloudFlow infrastructure. There will be three waves of experiments, the first wave starting in the first phase of the project with experiments from the core partners. The second and third waves will be open to the community and will call for increasingly complex and challenging use cases, especially on engineering and manufacturing services and workflows.
Missing established Business Models are a main hampering factor for SW vendors not to provide Cloud services in public clouds in engineering and manufacturing. CloudFlow has one work package dedicated to the development and evaluation of business models where the involved SW vendors and consultancy company discuss, design and try different concepts to balance attractiveness and economics of accounting for service provision.
Concerns about Security on the user’s side in engineering and manufacturing hinders acceptance of compute services in public clouds. This holds true almost independent from internet security standards. The remaining risk is considered undetermined. As many of our discussions show a security label from an independent organization would bring acceptance a big step forward. CloudFlow will work together with appropriate organizations (e.g. SQS Company) on trusted services and to establish a quality label for secure cloud computational and data management services.
In addition to the open calls for application experiments, community involvement will be achieved through Outreach and Standardization activities. Outreach covers dissemination and exploitation activities and the link between CloudFlow and the I4MS initiative with which CloudFlow will cooperate. Moreover, a transformation of CloudFlow into an international Manufacturing Technology Platform project (CloudFlow-IMS) as part of the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) will be considered. Dissemination at user conferences, scientific conferences and fairs complement the above activities. The inclusion of CloudFlow results into the commercial products of the involved software vendors (all being SMEs) will contribute to the Exploitation of the project results.