The Cross-Border Industrial Experiment in Steel Supply Chain aimed 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 focused 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 focused 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 aimed 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 has presented 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 has 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 aimed to establish a self-organized distribution network as part of a digital self-organized supply chain. The dynamic forming of the supply chain has been realized by a service application. The application planned an order-related distribution by exploring an open market for logistic services, based on a customer designed, preferred distribution network.