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Digital and virtual manufacturing engineering
Manufacturing is a dynamic socio-technical system, which is operating in a turbulent environment. Changes are normal and continuous at all levels. Innovating Manufacturing, envisioned as a new paradigm of the socio-technical system is oriented to permanent best of class and usage of resources by fast implementation of innovative solutions. Innovative Manufacturing is knowledge based and operates with the latest state-of-the art in manufacturing technologies and technical systems. Confronted with new models of competition and new modes of operation, the manufacturing enterprises have to provide competitive industrial goods and support services at decreased prices with high quality, overcoming the customers' expectations. Our research is oriented to overcome these challenges by promoting new and innovative paradigms in manufacturing engineering: factory as products, factory life cycle and advanced Industrial Engineering. The paper presents and founds these concepts and validatesthem through the first prototype of our approach, the Stuttgart Factory Planning Environment.