Experiments - Lighthouses

Cross-Border Industrial Experiment in Steel Supply Chain

Thyssenkrupp + IBM

Lighthouse description

The Cross-Border Industrial Experiment in Steel Supply Chain aims at the set-up of an infrastructure for data exchange and data sharing in a trusted ecosystem based on the IDS Reference Architecture Model. The experiment focusses on the set up of a Logistics platform and an Additive Manufacturing platform. Cross-border does in this experimentation not only mean to cross the borders of countries, but also crossing the boundaries of the security domains of companies, the participants in the ecosystem.

This specific scenario focuses on the ecosystem of 3D printing services. There is a rising number of 3D Printing Hubs in the market, but there is sophisticated engineering know-how needed to create a printable file to maximize the benefits of 3D printing. Beside the optimization of the part itself, there is the choice of the fitting production technologies and finally the availability of logistic services. All these aspects lead to complex decision-making process in optimizing the delivery of the part.

The approach of the experiment aims at lowering entry barriers for new participants of the ecosystem in the meaning of business and data privacy related measures. At the same time the experiment presents that the growing technological challenges in the realization of such a system has been overcome as shown already in the first iteration of the experiment.

To realize this experiment, an existing logistics use case has been extended to the needs of Additive Manufacturing and updated to the current state of development of the IDS Reference Architecture Model. An Additive Manufacturing platform for the interaction between customers, an Additive Manufacturing Engineering Service Provider (here the associated partner thyssenkrupp) and Print Hubs has been  established with Data Privacy, Data Sovereignty and Data Provenance (Traceability) solutions which are key for the success of experiment. Blockchain technology is also used for the traceability of information and data exchange. The combination of both approaches Blockchain and IDS is reasonable and leads to a system that is acceptable for all participants in the ecosystem.

The experiment aims to establish a self-organized distribution network as part of a digital self-organized supply chain. The dynamic forming of the supply chain should be realized by a service application. The application plans an order-related distribution by exploring an open market for logistic services, based on a customer designed, preferred distribution network.

 

FROM CHALLENGE TO SOLUTION

  • CHALLENGE:

    Additive Manufacturing creates a distributed and dynamic value- and supply chain. These requirements have to be managed in appropriate systems which is supported by the Logistics Platform and the Additive Manufacturing platform.
    Since the Additive Manufacturing ecosystem is an ecosystem requiring trust to enable the numerous members with different motivations and objectives to share and exchange their data, a trusted ecosystem for open communication, data sovereignty, provenance and traceability is prerequisite. The Vision of the IDS approach is to build a market that allows all members to participate and use the services offered with trust.

  • SOLUTION (Main results expected to be achieved):

    The idea is to establish a self-organized distribution network as part of a digital self-organized supply chain. The dynamic forming of the supply chain should be realized by a service application. This application plans an order-related distribution by exploring an open market for logistic services, based on a customer designed, preferred distribution network. The range of services covers the complete process handling across several processes.

    The technical approach consists of the creation of a data space. The software architecture represents the reference architecture of the Industrial Data Space. The elements Connector and Broker from the Industrial Data Space are also used. For the customer, the distribution network organizes itself via apps in the Industrial Data Space. Within MIDIH, a distribution planning app is installed in the manufacturer's IDS connector.

    Therefore, the main targets of this experiment are:
    • Creating a trustworthy ecosystem for transfer of valuable engineering data, sensor data and logistics data
    • Process industrial Additive Manufacturing orders in a fast, traceable, and reliable manner
    • Protect IP and assure quality