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  • Writer's pictureUsman Wajid

Standardisation for Smart Manufacturing

Karl Grün (ASI), Usman Wajid (ICE)

“Smart manufacturing” is a commonly used term these days, however only recently ISO and IEC provided a definition for this term as: “Manufacturing that improves its performance aspects with integrated and intelligent use of processes and resources in cyber, physical and human spheres to create and deliver products and services, which also collaborates with other domains within enterprises’ value chains. Performance aspects include agility, efficiency, safety, security, sustainability or any other performance indicators identified by the enterprise. In addition to manufacturing, other enterprise domains can include engineering, logistics, marketing, procurement, sales or any other domains identified by the enterprise.

Based on this definition latest standards and standardization activities need to be analysed and organised in order to raise awareness and support wider adoption of smart manufacturing related standards. For example, specific topics such as cyber-security were considered relevant for Internet and Web-based technologies. However cyber-security is now considered quite relevant in the manufacturing industry where data from machines and systems is increasingly being shared through digital channels. Ongoing standardisation activities cover diverse topics related to smart manufacturing such as industrial automation systems, enterprise interoperability, device/data integration, information management, risk management, IoT, Cloud computing, digital twin frameworks, additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics, reference architecture models for Industry 4.0 and even connected vehicles.

Karl Grün, Director Standards Development at (EFPF partner) Austrian Standards, believes that ongoing research and innovation activities in the smart and digital manufacturing area can immensely benefit from not only aligning themselves with already existing standards but also through contributions towards existing or new standards. Contributions towards standardisation can provide added value for new technologies and making results from research and innovation projects fit for the market.

The expert advice from ASI has supported the EFPF partners in developing a comprehensive Standardisation Plan that prescribes a double-sided approach for carrying out standardisation activities in the project.

Strategic Approach

On the strategic front, project partners would develop standardised solutions to enable the interoperation of heterogeneous and distributed solutions in the EFPF federation. ASI and NIST (as associate partner) would support project partners towards their applications, developments and compliance of relevant standards. In addition, partners will contribute towards the implementation of the recommendations from Joint MSP/DEI working group on standardisation, which would also align the project with the DEI initiative. The recommendation from the joint working group are included in the eFactory Standardisation lan, as follows:

  • Common communications standards and reference architecture for connections between machines (M2M) and with sensors and actuators in a supply chain environment are a basic need and a priority

  • Specific industrial needs shall be identified during the EFPF project and addressed through the adoption and/or implementation of relevant standards. Analysis shall be carried out as how to provide industries with a solution enabling secure communications

  • Improve interoperability and reduce overlap, redundancy and fragmentation. Often there are several standardisation activities ongoing in the same area in parallel. Standardisation activities in EFPF will be encouraged for making standards to work together and integrating existing protocols. Moreover, standards bodies (such as ASI and NIST) should aim for a coordinated approach regarding different reference architectures and measures should be taken to reduce overlap, redundancy and fragmentation

  • Interoperable and integrated security – project partners shall contribute to activities in Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) working on interoperability standards for security and for linking communication protocols in order to provide end-to-end security for complex manufacturing systems including the span of virtual actors (from devices and sensors to enterprise systems). Standardisation activities should also consider risk management approaches as well as European requirements (Chapter 3.3, Action 5, MSP/DEI Final Report) and NIST Risk Management Framework for Information Systems and Organisations

  • The project partners shall participate towards creating a hierarchical catalogue of technical and social measures for assuring privacy protection; supporting SDOs impacting the DEI domain in general and the advanced manufacturing domain in particular to comment on and prioritize the elements in the catalogue. Digitising industry implies processing of data which includes personal data within the definition of the GDPR. This means, in addition to technical measures to ensure the security of the data, additional technical and social measures are needed in EFPF to protect the privacy of personal data. Such social or non-technical measures will include, e.g. codes of conduct, charters and certifications, best practice guidelines, collection of evidence of privacy protection assurance, etc

  • Partners shall participate towards the development of standards for ensuring long-term traceability of material to enable re-use and recycling (Chapter 3.3, Action 9, MSP/DEI Final Report)

In addition, the EFPF partners shall periodically review and align their standardisation activities and provide a report for internal and external awareness. Also, partners shall support ASI in representing eFactory project within the coordination group on Smart Manufacturing setup by The European Committee for Standardization CEN and its electrotechnical Partner CENELEC together with ETSI (Telecommunication).

Tactical Approach

In view of the strategic direction, a tactical plan has been drafted to pursue standardisation activities in key areas related to smart manufactuirng in the EFPF project. Based on the tactical plan, the EFPF partners will contribute towards the standardisation activities being carried out by the following technical committees:

Standardisation is of special importance in supporting the digital transformation of industry. However, there may be many questions that have not yet been answered and addressed. Like the EFPF project itself, standardisation is a dynamic and evolving environment that has to be observed closely and actively throughout all phases in order to achieve an optimal contribution to standardisation and alignment between the project and standards.

For further information on standardisation activities in the smart manufacturing domain or in the EFPF project, the readers are encouraged to get touch with the EFPF project partners – using the contact form on the website.


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