Reconfigurable Pilot Lines Enabling Industry Digitalization: An Approach for Transforming Industry and Academia Needs to Requirements Specifications

Jere Siivonen (Corresponding Author), Saku Pöysäri, Aino Maria Hakamäki, Minna Lanz, Katri Salminen, Mika Ijas, Markus Aho, Harri Nieminen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a proceedings journalScientificpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Reconfigurable Pilot Lines (RPLs) are one practical concept for implementing the test-before-invest strategy to improve skills and capabilities of European small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SMEs typically have limited resources for systematically exploring the potential benefits of available technologies. By utilizing the RPLs offered by research institutes and universities, companies can get both commercially uncommitted and realistic proof-of-concept studies for their applications, and valuable information about the skills and personnel competences needed for successful implementation of the new technologies. Test-before-invest services offered by RPLs can also foster the process of adopting new digital technologies in manufacturing industry. RPLs are versatile. RPL can act as a test bed for manufacturing company's investment study, industry-scale product development laboratory for technology provider, as well as a platform for scientific research and education. Due to versatile roles and functions, defining pilot line requirements specifications call for systematic contribution from both industry and academia. This paper introduces a collaborative approach for defining requirements specifications for RPLs from the future technology skills development perspective. As a basis for this research, we combine results of three joined industry-academia workshops and one academic workshop with total 87 participants utilizing Affinity Wall method. This data was supplemented with an online survey for 74 companies from manufacturing industry. The analysis indicates that defining requirements specifications and development roadmaps for RPLs is a complex process, requiring multidisciplinary collaboration. Based on the analysis, a conceptual model supporting the requirements specification work is proposed in this paper. The model was applied to an existing testbed environment for further evaluation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1226-1231
    JournalProcedia CIRP
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event55th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems, CIRP CMS 2022 - Lugano, Switzerland
    Duration: 29 Jun 20221 Jul 2022


    • Automation
    • Industry 4.0
    • Pilot Lines
    • Robotics


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