Michael Teigeler and Roland Bent welcome to the DKE Innovation Campus 2022

Michael Teigeler and Roland Bent welcome to the DKE Innovation Campus 2022

| Heiko Wolfraum
2022-08-16 review of event

Digital Standards Take Off into the Future

On June 28, 2022 the DKE Innovation Campus brought together the community of electrotechnical standardization professionals in Frankfurt/Main. Karsten Schwanke, national radio and television meteorologist, kicked off the event with the question: “What is weather and what is climate change?”

As of that point the entire day was addressed to the all-electric society and sector coupling, as well as the contribution that digital standards can make toward energy transition.

Alexander Nollau
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Energy transition means transformation of society as a whole

With his initial question the moderator placed the onus on his hosts –  the expectation being that the DKE “Mission future – on the way to the all-electric society” might serve to counteract climate change.

Displaying a reprint of the first edition of VDE 0100, Michael Teigeler, managing director of the DKE, mentioned the first safety standard originally printed in 1895. He contended that standardization now has to be transformed for the digital age. “We face global challenges like we have never seen before. And what is important here is the intelligent coupling of renewable energy generation and use in every sector relevant to the climate.”

Roland Bent, President of the DKE, drew attention to the international success of standardization: a total of ninety percent of all national standards are international in origin. He noted that the global model of success as represented by ‘common specifications’ could also be repeated by SMART standards. “We have to see the energy transition as an overall societal transformation for digitalization throughout all sectors. But we also have the means to come to terms with this, as a huge responsibility and an immense opportunity.”

Sustainability and climate neutrality is impossible without standards

In his welcoming address Stefan Schnorr, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport, praised the DKE mission. “The mission ensures that we can succeed on this path toward the all-electric society.” In his opinion, the state has to play the role of an enabler and provide the required framework. The ministry itself is open to innovation, technology and open-ended results. The all-electric society requires sector coupling. He thanked the DKE for its work, “... because we need you. Sustainability and climate neutrality is impossible without standards. Keep up the good work. Find the solution for the all-electric society.”

A vision is required that anticipates future scenarios

Prof. Dr. Armin Schnettler, VDE President, thanked all the DKE experts. The relevance of the DKE is demonstrated by its 10,000 experts. They hold a total of 2,000 meetings and 1,100 committees work on 500 standards every year. One could say: they work on the future. The DKE has evolved from a small seedling to what it has become is today. The all-electric society represents an essential requirement for the future. Two things are important for standardization in the future: “On the one hand, visionary thinking: we have to anticipate what is on the horizon. And we have to break down complexities into manageable pieces. None of this will be possible without collaboration. We need to become more responsive.”

Uniting entrepreneurial thinking and climate protection

In his presentation Dr. Ulrich Stoll, DIN President, emphasized that sector coupling provides the beacon for the all-electric society. The DKE performs revolutionary work with SMART standards. Climate change is the principal challenge of our time. That is why CEN and CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, and 156 partner organizations agreed on Standards for the Climate in May 2022. These were documented in the London Declaration in which they committed themselves to incorporating any findings gained from climate science into standardization.

Dr. Stoll stressed that climate protection and business must go hand in hand – which is why the business community must participate in standardization committees. Entrepreneurial thought and climate protection must be brought together as an impetus for growth, he said. “Processes are being digitalized everywhere. And that is also why we need machine-readable standards. SMART standards will determine the future.”

Understanding, exchanging and making data interoperable

In his keynote speech on sector coupling, Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO at Pepperl + Fuchs SE, ZVEI President and member of the presidium at the DKE, stressed that apart from the expansion of renewable energies, the principal focus has to be placed on energy efficiency as national economies continue to grow. And this needs to do be done without an increase in the energy requirement – something which is in fact possible, as figures have shown.

Between the years 1990 and 2020 the gross domestic product increased by an annual average of 1.2 percent, while greenhouse gas emissions fell by 1.3 percent per year over the same period. The challenge is to rapidly expand renewable energies and significantly increase energy efficiency, while economic output continues to grow. What is required is a switch to a circular economy where the dominant form of energy is electricity generated from renewable sources. Green hydrogen and e-fuels would be part of this open technological vision of the future. To achieve this aim, the all-electric society has to become digitalized and develop data-driven business models to reduce energy consumption – despite greater economic output.

The all-electric society is only conceivable with digitized and data-driven business models. The respective sectors must understand their data, exchange it and make it interoperable – and standardization must provide the basis for this. In Industry 4.0, digitization is well advanced: “Now we need to create the digital infrastructure. The asset administration shell of the Industry 4.0 platform is the right instrument for this purpose. The task now is to roll out the asset administration shell standard across the board.”

Keynote address by Dr. Gunther Kegel

In his keynote address with the topic of “sector coupling” Dr. Gunther Kegel made it clear that the new concept for successful sector coupling does not tolerate egoism and vanities.

The challenges include rapid expansion of renewable electrical power sources and a significant increase in energy efficiency along with increased economic output. Electrification and digitization are the biggest energy efficiency levers at this point and the fundamental prerequisite for the all-electric society.

Note: The video is only available in German language.

We need common data logistics

Christoph Kelzenberg, Assistant Business Unit CDO at Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, compared sector coupling with goods logistics before the period when the ISO container was introduced in the 1970s. Today, 24,000 of them are able to fit on a single ship. There are 40 million containers on the move around the world. These containers are what made the global division of labour among supply chains possible in the first place. As a result, Germany has become the world’s leading exporter, and China the world’s leading supplier. Today, more than 60 percent of the global flow of goods takes place in ISO containers via land, water, rail and truck.

A similar problem currently exists when it comes to data logistics. Up to now, every stakeholder in logistics has had its own IT systems and data models. This has led to huge manual interfaces and several hundred IT systems, all of which need to be maintained. And so there are too many platforms. “We need common data logistics. The asset administration shell can become an enabler in this respect. The digital twin and the asset administration shell have great potential for a common platform with data containers.”

No heat transition without sector coupling

For Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Meister, the head of Energy Research and Development at OFFIS - Institute for Informatics, digitization of the heat transition is difficult to imagine without sector coupling. Heat and renewable energies must be linked. Multiple use of energy is possible in downstream processes. “Digitization and the smart metering infrastructure play a crucial role in this regard, so that a large number of stakeholders are able to exchange data.”

He reported on the research fields that are investigating sector coupling on the heating market, in part with the participation of the DKE. This would involve connecting local energy systems with agent-based control using artificial intelligence in such a way that they autonomously negotiate among themselves as to how to optimize. He is currently conducting research on sustainable heat transition at an experimental campus at the University of Oldenburg. The object of this research is the networking of large-scale plants with waste heat and cooling processes, central ventilation systems with heat recovery, and absorption cooling systems in a large-scale computing cluster. This would make it possible to leverage previously unused synergy potential. The ultimate aim is integration into a heat transition platform with simulation and predictive models for optimization as well as the development and integration of new operating strategies.

Data standard across the entire automotive supply chain

Claus Cremers, Siemens AG and board member at Catena-X Automotive Network e.V., reported on the first end-to-end, collaborative, open data ecosystem for the automotive industry of the future. This would link all stakeholders into end-to-end value chains. Up to now, data in the industry has failed to flow as efficiently between the respective stakeholders as should have been the case. That is why Catena-X would establish a data standard across the entire supply chain. Data should be exchanged in such a way that suppliers are able to decide what to do with it.

Apart from automotive companies, cloud and platform services also work together at Catena-X. There are 275,000 suppliers in the automotive sector. All of them employ different apps. Catena-X aims to develop interoperable apps for networking purposes. As far as the carbon footprint is concerned, there needs to be an entry point as a marketplace and a common set of rules. A total of 104 members are already involved, including international stakeholders such as Ford and Stellantis, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, T-Systems and SAP. An initial release is to be tested with customers at the end of the year 2022. “We are an implementing organization. We work to radically alter the industry.”

Handicrafts provide impetus to centre for sector coupling

Alexander Neuhäuser, deputy managing director at the Central Association of the German Electrical and Information Technology Trades (ZVEH), outlined the structural change taking place in the handicraft trades characterized by smaller businesses. In the eyes of the skilled crafts and trades the platform economy represents a threat to their independence. Nonetheless, it is necessary to work with the different systems offered by the various providers. Currently there are no seamless digital processes. Data has to be entered again and again. While the number of individual apps continues to increase, they only solve partial problems and are not interoperable.

“We want to provide an open standard for the crafts to app providers. We need to establish a common platform among manufacturers so that we don’t have to use a different app from every other manufacturer.” Skilled crafts and trades have an important role to play when it comes to digitalization, but they resist the feudalism of current platforms. “We rely on the crafts being seen and taken account of within the industry perspective of the Internet of Things. And we need these trades to work together. For this we need a centre for sector coupling which brings together both the administrative and practical aspects of the crafts and trades.”

Standards must become digital, otherwise it will be up to industry

Markus Franke, director of Solution Design, Standards & Collaboration at Schaeffler in Germany, recommended getting SMART standards quickly underway, otherwise companies will do so with their own individual solutions. That is why he takes part in the Digital Standards Initiative (IDiS). “We need more companies to voice their issues and share their use cases.”

An initial IDiS white paper describes the transformation of standards from paper and PDF to SMART standard. In the future the focus will be on machine-controllable input. Standards are currently at levels 2 and 3. In order to reach level 5 the standardization committees need to think ahead and start preparing now. “In the future we have to think about its subsequent use when we create a particular standard.”

SMART standards need to be integrated into the planning processes for product development in the future. Industry as such is already further ahead of standardization. Schaeffler has a number of knowledge managers to this end, who integrate paper standards into application development and programmes. “We employ five people just for this process because the standard is not digital. In industry I am already further ahead of standardization.”

Standardization committees must become more diverse

The future of standardization was discussed in Workshop 1. Alena Widder, project manager at Next Generation DKE, moderated this workshop together with Adam Lawrence, co-founder of WorkPlayExperience.

The participants collected ideas for robust and inclusive standardization. They focused on the topic of “age diversity” as a crucial aspect for innovation and future commitment. The current situation is far from ideal as far as young female engineers and standardization is concerned. The proportion of women among students of electrical engineering and information technology in Germany amounts to only fifteen percent; and in the DKE standardization committees this figure is only eight percent. Their average age is estimated to be over 50, while the average years of membership is 21.

And thus the realization: “We have a problem recruiting young talent!” Employers have to ensure that young people are given enough time to work in standardization committees, and release them from work for this purpose.

Ideas for a solution:

  • Create "awareness" of this topic already during their studies
  • Advertise in professional journals
  • Hold classroom events at colleges and universities
  • Offer structured introduction to standardization work

Data-based sector coupling deserves top priority

Under the moderation of DKE President Roland Bent and Dr. Jens Gayko, managing director of the Standardization Council Industry 4.0, Workshop 2 discussed data-based sector coupling.

It was quickly agreed that the asset administration shell represents the key to integration for digitization and climate neutrality by the year 2050. When it comes to overall creation of a carbon footprint the challenge lies in the supply chain. Though this may be under control within the company itself, it is more difficult to obtain such information from suppliers. Although sector coupling serves to drive efficiency, domain boundaries still have to be overcome.

An interactive survey among workshop participants explored the cross-sector use cases that they themselves experience. An evaluation of the results revealed that everyone has different priorities. Common semantics, cross-sector standardization, interfaces and cooperation between the international technical committees are important.

Interoperability was viewed as the highest priority task for standardization when it came to data-based sector coupling. Good cooperation at the international level as well as within the different sectors, including at the national level between associations, industry and politics are all extremely important. “We need to arrive at a common view of data models. We need dialogue in order to do so. That is what the DKE aims to offer.”

Thinking SMART standards from the user’s perspective and preparing them for everyday use

In Workshop 3, which was moderated by Damian A. Czarny, head of the Digitalization Business Unit at the DKE, and Peter Rauh, project coordinator at DIN, the participants discussed “SMART standards in practice”. One central question: What requirements should SMART standards fulfil in the future in order to support users in their daily work?

The eleven internationally agreed use cases for SMART standards were presented during the practical part of the workshop. They are based on a large collection of national user stories that reflect the wishes and requirements of the international standard users. The use cases thus collect the wishes and requirements of the national stakeholders into groups and form the basis for an internationally agreed roadmap for the implementation of SMART standards.

The workshop showed how a document (standard) can become relevant information (SMART standards). Critical points were also addressed later; for example, the fact that breaking down a standard will have an impact on current workflows, and the importance of smart information for companies already.

The participants used a brainstorming session to collect stories from users in which they formulated their practical requirements for SMART standards. Afterwards the 36 user stories that were submitted were assigned to the eleven use cases already available. It was found that complete coverage could be achieved in the process. The user stories thus underscore the importance of the use cases already identified and will be introduced as further evidence at the international level. This practical approach made the enormous potential of SMART standards in industrial applications all the more apparent to the participants.

Almost all of the stories from users described cases that occur in the everyday life of engineers and technicians today, with the difference that in future the valuable relevant technical information from SMART standards can be customized and made to meet the needs of the corresponding users. As a result, time-consuming research, discovery and the directing of relevant information into a work process will be made much easier in the future.

It is no high noon, but rather there is no more time to waste

Meteorologist Karsten Schwanke painted an alarming picture in his keynote speech “Climate Change for Engineers”. Everyone knew that climate change was coming. But the consequences were often not understood.

The figure of 0.9 degrees describes current global warming from the years 2000 to 2020, compared to the year 1850 prior to industrialization. However, it is important to move away from statistical averages. The best assumption proceeds on the basis of as much as 2.7 degrees or more by the year 2050. The amount of global warming recorded in the last two centuries is the same as was the case over the past 12,000 years. This can no longer be explained with natural variability. In 2018 there were six months of drought. The entire weather circulation in the northern hemisphere has come to a halt. Until the year 1983 a temperature of more than 40 degrees north of the Alps was never measured. Then in 2015, it was 40.3 degrees. The intervals and the upward outliers are increasing. But more than 50 degrees is possible by 2050. This will have a massive impact on buildings, for which architects do not yet have an answer.

“The more closely I look at the data, the more I see climate change and realize what’s coming.” The duration of heat waves has also become longer. “The durations of our heat waves today have increased fourfold. High temperatures cause the atmosphere to hold seven percent more water per degree.” Water vapor is the greatest energy carrier in the atmosphere. This leads to significantly more tropical storms because more energy enters the atmosphere. This was also a reason for the floods in the Ahr Valley in the summer of 2021.

Clear statements by participants in the panel discussion

The panel discussion at the DKE Innovation Campus is always an integral part of the agenda. This year, too, we were able to attract interesting guests in order to discuss content relating to the all-electric society and the sector coupling required to this end. The following represent the most important statements on the part of the participating discussion partners.

Kerstin Jorna, EU Director-General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW): “We should focus on the important standards for energy transition. We need to pool our resources in the European single market. The EU Commission has therefore appointed a Chief Standards Officer. Standards are sexy because they minimize investment risk. We should better integrate young talent and start-ups into standardization processes.”

Prof. Dr. Kristina Sinemus, Hesse’s Minister for Digital Strategy and Development: “We have a gigabit strategy in Hesse: Schools and healthcare structures are to be connected to the fibre-optic network by the year 2022, and private households by 2030. We work according to the principle of ‘market before state’. Together with policymakers, the private sector steers and coordinates in one direction. Market-driven subsidy programmes and accelerated approval processes ensure that we achieve our goals faster.”

Philippe Metzger, Secretary General & CEO at the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC): “The all-electric society is a crucial item in the strategy of the IEC. Efforts are needed at the international level for digitization. We need to get everyone on-board, including other continents. Our stakeholders must decide how to set up their standardization organizations. We are engaging the younger generation so that we can tackle climate change.”

Dr. Annette Frederiksen, Next Generation DKE and research engineer at Bosch: “Standardization has to become sexy. It should also be anchored in university instruction. Standardization organizations need a welcoming culture for the next generation, which can make an important contribution. The young generation is networked and has global contacts. Standardization organizations need to be more digital.”

Ansgar Hinz, CEO VDE: “We need a joint strategy on the part of policymakers, industry, and standardization organizations. Standardization works faster through trust and joint processes. There is no room for personal sensitivities. Climate change can only be won by getting the majority of people with factual information to become concerned.”

Christoph Winterhalter, DIN CEO and Vice President at ISO: “We have an exemplary structure for standardization processes in Europe. Public-private partnership has proven its worth. However, there is a need for even closer cooperation between national and international standardization work. At DIN, we need to analyse where we have an impact on climate change and revise these standards.”

SMART standards are a present-day topic

In his closing statement Roland Bent, President of the DKE, emphasized that standardization organizations have to engage in discourse with industry and policymakers. Many stakeholders in the respective sectors know too little about one another. What is needed is a platform on which knowledge is merged and made available again. “We have to break down silos and overcome departmental thinking. We have to see this as a cross-sectional task. We have to drive digitization in a resolute manner, otherwise we won’t win over the young generation.”

SMART standards are not an issue for the future, but rather an issue for the present. “We have to overcome the boundaries of industries and organizations. For this we need a new platform. The DKE can be that platform.” The DKE has the chance to make a key contribution. “We have an implementation challenge, not a knowledge problem. We have to tackle it or we will be worthy of blame toward the next generation. That is why we drafted the DKE Commitment 2030, which will also incorporate the results of the Innovation Campus 2022. Let’s shape this venture into the all-electric society together, as a joint Mission for Future.”

Roland Bent concludes at the DKE Innovation Campus 2022

The all-electric society needs harmonization of all individual solutions through interoperability. This is the basis for many further applications. The required discourse must take place at the political, societal, and technical levels.

The DKE can serve as a platform because it has set itself the goal of making a key contribution to the all-electric society. All this is presented in the DKE Commitment 2030.

Note: The video is only available in German language.

Interested in additional content about Energy?


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