Project Description

Digital Product Footprint

A data-space-enabled collaborative product life cycle and supply chain management. Developed in cooperation with Thales, DPF integrates distributed PLM systems, operated by different parties in a multi-stakeholder ecosystem, to furnish visibility of product and component dependencies across the value chain. By encompassing all data items relevant for managing all aspects of a product, DPF supports bidding process, product configuration, and change management.

Experience we shared

Enterprise Integration

Data Analytics

World-class technology, the combined expertise of 65,000 employees and operations in 56 countries have made Thales a key player in keeping the public safe and secure, guarding vital infrastructure and protecting the national security interests of countries around the globe.

PROBLEM

Thales products comprise many components that the company buys from a large variety of partners. The goal was to develop a platform that stores all documentation of components, suppliers of individual components and replacements. The company was looking for a partner that has experience in the development of enterprise architecture.  There were 3 main goals for the project implementation:

1. R&D, which was supposed to help in the choice of technology,

2. Proof of concept activities,

3. Development of Product Lifecycle Management.

SOLUTION

The general concept of the DPF is the following: for every business process that handles product-related data, the DPF offers an access point (interface) for a human in charge of this business process. The product-centric DPF interface enables that human user to accomplish the necessary data-handling tasks if needed, reaching across the private data structures of different companies that are part of the supply network for that product. DPF provides a separate user interface for every processes or sub-process, which allows for a separation of concerns and provides a security measure. DPF architecture distinguishes between two types of companies in the supply network for a product: the OEM company, which is the company that owns the product that is the central object of the supply network, and the Manufacturer(s) companies that are the suppliers of parts for that product.

PROCESS

The project has been divided into four stages.

1. Requirements. The first phase consisted of collecting the requirements, which was the responsibility of the Thales team. For this purpose, we talked with product-owners, procurement, SCM, and change management. The set of requirements was then discussed with the DAC to make the functional requirements.

2. Research and architecture. The next stage is the analysis of available technologies, research and the first proof of concepts. Architecture development and selection of technological stack.

3. Development and testing. In the next stage, the time came for the development and testing of a developed solution. DAC developed an architecture to integrate cloud solutions, in which PLM partner systems were embedded. One of the assumptions was to use Arrowhead Framework, currently curated by Eclipse Foundation, Industrial IoT automation, and interoperability framework.

4. Dissemination. We are currently developing a Whitepaper in collaboration with DAC scientists and engineers to promote this innovative approach. The Whitepaper should be available in late 2019 and early 2020. We will present the solution at industry 4.0 conferences and trade fairs.

DELIVERED VALUE

The main goal has been achieved: a working prototype that demonstrates the performance of Product Lifecycle Management. The development of a functional demonstrator was crucial for the further development of the project.
The DPF in Budapest at the Productive 4.0 conference related to Industry 4.0, digital production, etc., where the domain experts had the opportunity to review and give feedback on our tool.

TECHNOLOGIES

Arrowhead 4.1, MySQL, Java 8, Docker, Kubernetes

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