Practical example and current challenges
- The digitisation of production is creating a wide range of ways to improve processes and cut costs. For example, the sequence of manufactured components can be optimised, and small batch sizes can be made at the same cost as mass production. At the same time, quality issues can be dealt with via optical quality control and overarching quality management. Many of the digitisation projects needed for this are currently working on stand-alone solutions and do not permit any standardised solutions due to the non-homogenous structures, that have grown over time (communication standards, operational management, etc.). Given typical equipment lifetimes of 7 years or more, it is not possible to wait until the production line is updated with more innovative equipment in the usual way.
- At the same time, there is a lack of standardised interfaces for cloud solutions which can seamlessly and easily integrate the production lines and planning processes. This means that most current solutions for the digital shopfloor are tied to a proprietary standard and are not “open”.
- A modular toolbox for shopfloor digitisation could help. The core of the connected shopfloor is the capability for the digitisation solutions not to be stand-alone, but to be able to work with other solutions, which are also designed to be open.
- The concept of the digital shopfloor is hybrid-cloud-based. On the one hand, standardised interfaces permit the modularisation of the various components; on the other, they address the irregular need for computer processing power, as well as the possibility of ad hoc use.
What added value does the "GAIA-X project" offer?
- GAIA-X’s federated approach supports the establishment of a seamless hybrid cloud in a modular environment. The obvious benefits are the avoidance of lock-in effects, low operating costs and a high degree of reliability/availability of the new services.
- Also, GAIA-X permits access to specialised cloud services which can generate significant improvements in performance, both in commercial and in technical and organisational terms.
- GAIA-X ensures that business-critical data, which make up a large proportion of a company’s intellectual property, are provided in compliance with the GDPR. There is therefore a need for maximum consistency, confidentiality and availability of data to be processed by the cloud services. The guarantee of data sovereignty will mean that more companies will take part in this project and provide their data.
- The increasing use of GAIA-X can lead to a swifter realization of modular digitization projects which are not tied to a proprietary standard.
- Georg Houben – FUJITSU