The transformation of industry towards high-added value organisations necessitates real integrated approaches.

Fast reconfigurable manufacturing operations that rely on a flexible manufacturing solution are considered to be the response needed by industry to meet continuously fluctuating demands for the supply of new products.

The central goal of XPRESS is to achieve a breakthrough for the knowledge-based and agile manufacturing enterprise of the future (MANUFUTURE 2020) with an innovative flexible and fast reconfigurable manufacturing solution based on the generic idea of the “Manufactronic factory”. With the creation of autonomous/self-acting intelligent assembly units an on-demand knowledge-based production can be realized.

XPRESS takes the whole production process into consideration in which the machines are not only communicating with each other but are members of a coordinated team of specialized autonomous objects (“Manufactrons”) in learning networks (environment of intelligent collaboration).

XPRESS is co-funded by the European Commission as an Integrated Project (IP) under the 6th Framework Programme.

XPRESS is focused on various branches:

The feasibility of the methods developed will be demonstrated in three representative sectors: automotive, aeronautics and electronic industry.

XPRESS partners are:

The IP Consortium includes major stakeholders from the relevant branches, end users and production system suppliers, ICT providers, SME and RTD performers, including Academic and Research Institutes. Harms und Wende GmbH acts as the IP Coordinator, supported by Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum in Karlsruhe.


AWL-Techniek B.V., Netherlands
Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A., Italy
Critical Software S.A., Portugal
Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA, Germany
GHarms & Wende GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
KUKA Systems GmbH, Germany
Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum, Germany
University of Applied Science Karlsruhe, Germany