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Trilateral cooperation is picking up speed

Between 17 and 19 October 2017, experts on trilateral cooperation in the field of Industry 4.0 came together in Germany. In Frankfurt, representatives from Germany, France and Italy finalised their joint Roadmap on Standardization – the aim of this coordinated approach is to drive forward global standardization processes. During visits to Kaiserslautern and Darmstadt, the focus was placed on SMEs and testbeds. When it comes to supporting SMEs, the partners are seeking to learn from one another and raise the topic up to the European level.

Experts on trilateral cooperation in the Smart Factory KL of the “Kompetenzzentrum Mittelstand 4.0” in Kaiserslautern
Experts on trilateral cooperation in the Smart Factory KL of the “Kompetenzzentrum Mittelstand 4.0” in Kaiserslautern
© Plattform Industrie 4.0/Bode

The start of the gathering was made by the Working Group on “Standardization and Reference Architecture”. This one-day workshop was opened by Kai Garrels, head of the working group “Standardization” at Plattform Industrie 4.0. During the event, the working group’s Roadmap was finalised, and work was launched on the administration shell. In addition to the development of component models, key elements of the administration shell include semantics, open source and communication. The Industry 4.0 Standardization Council is already planning the content of the work to be done on the component models of the administrative shell during the next meeting in Paris in mid-November. The aim is to have a say in global standardization processes with a joint approach.

The discussions of the working group “Engagement of SMEs and Testbeds”, which came together on 18 and 19 of October, placed the main focus on medium-sized enterprises. Participants from Italy and France showed great interest during their visit to the Smart Factory of the “Kompetenzzentrum Mittelstand 4.0” in Kaiserslautern and the Process Learning Factory (“Prozesslernfabrik” (CiP)) of the Technical University of Darmstadt.

During the half-day workshop which followed, the issues of supporting medium-sized enterprises, as well as international cooperation at the European level were on the agenda for discussion. The main outcome of this meeting, which brought together over 30 participants, was the identification of common interests in the areas of readiness checks, test labs and coaching, as well as agreeing on close cooperation with EU representatives. In the long run, the idea is to support SMEs on their road towards digitalised industry through long-term exchanges and to bring them together with test labs. The implementation of the Roadmap will begin as early as the next meeting, in January 2018.

Working Group “Standardization and Reference Architecture” of the trilateral cooperation in Frankfurt
Working Group “Standardization and Reference Architecture” of the trilateral cooperation in Frankfurt
© Alexander Bentkus