Building a global advantage in safety-critical systems
An EU-funded project has established a European standard that promotes the sharing of data across partners, stakeholders and customers - safeguarding the region's status as a global leader in safety-critical systems used for the aerospace, automotive, healthcare and rail sectors.
© EtiAmmos #175177369, 2018. Source: fotolia.com
Calibrating a combustion engine to adhere to all the necessary performance and environmental standards can involve monitoring and managing up to 50 000 variables. Changing just one can impact the rest, demanding a whole new set of calculations and models.
When creating complex engineering systems, one of the biggest challenges is managing the sharing of information across partners. Data can remain in silos as partners are unable or unwilling to make their data available outside organisations, resulting in systems that are slow to change and adapt.
The EU, participating states and industry-funded CRYSTAL project created a specific European Interoperability Standard (IOS) an open specification that enables the seamless transfer of data among partners to accelerate innovation.
Focusing on four specific engineering areas automotive, aerospace, health and rail 71 partners from over 10 European nations collaborated to build a secure platform where organisations can collaborate to develop new products and solutions.
CRYSTAL works by unlocking essential data from organisational silos, says project leader Christian El Salloum, of AVL List GmbH in Austria. Driven by customer requirements and the demands of an increasingly competitive global business environment, the project has successfully built a model and process to break down barriers, saving money and increasing efficiency through the supply chain.
Recognising that partners have their own specific requirements, the CRYSTAL approach was not about standardising the tools used, but unlocking the data they produced. The team created a new interoperability standard that enables data from partners to be standardised and aggregated through open web technologies and platforms. Integrated within existing systems, data is exchanged and interlinked via uniform, open and accessible formats and protocols.
The smart integration of tools enabled by CRYSTAL has significantly reduced the development costs for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It also offers them greater flexibility when responding to changing market conditions like new industry regulations.
If all the tools are interconnected, the system can derive the impact of any potential change, says El Salloum. It can answer questions that in the past would have required significant amounts of time and money.
The project involved close working relationships between customers, stakeholders and suppliers many of whom were competitors. Since the work ended in summer 2016, technologies developed by CRYSTAL have been adopted across Europe by businesses including IBM, Siemens, Airbus and Volvo. It also achieved its aim of improving access to the market for SMEs which can utilise the open-source standard.
By having such a large project that includes stakeholders, partners, end-users and customers, we have been able to develop a comprehensive solution, says El Salloum. The development of a European standard has simplified the exchange of information across organisations, improving the flow of data and unlocking significant process efficiencies helping to create a sustainable EU-wide competitive advantage.
It has helped to safeguard Europes position as a global leader in the development of safety-critical cyber-physical systems. The new standard has established a benchmark for manufacturing efficiency and improvement which could be extended to other complex processes in different industries in the future.
CRYSTAL received funding from the EU through the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking, which combined FP7 funds with dedicated financial support of the Joint Undertaking participating states and in-kind contributions by the project beneficiaries. Since 2014, the ECSEL Joint Undertaking has assumed and continued the activities of the ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking under the H2020 programme with a total budget approaching EUR 5 billion for the period 2014-2020.