Drs. Maarten Lörtzer
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Today at the Hannover Messe Dutch prime minister Rutte and FME and Smart Industry chair, Ineke Dezentjé Hamming, opened the Smart Connected Supplier Network fieldlab. The fieldlab focuses on collaboration and information sharing among companies in the high-tech supply chain. It has been estimated that secure, efficient exchange can reduce costs and errors by up to 20%.
The fieldlab is an initiative of the topsector HTSM, Brainport Industries, TNO, manufacturing companies NTS-Group, KMWE and Euro-Techniek and ICT-suppliers ISAH and MKG. This new fieldlab is one of ten such fieldlabs in the Dutch Smart Industry action agenda geared towards using smart ICT to streamline and improve the industrial process. The fieldlab’s smart connected supplier network has to enable the secure, reliable and fast exchange of data, like product and design information as well as quotation and order data, without being hindered by the use of different systems (interoperability). The supply chain that is the focus of the Smart Connected Supplier Network comprises around 300 suppliers of major high-tech companies like ASML, Thales and Philips Healthcare.
Manufacturers and their ICT suppliers have begun to ‘digitise’ the chain, under the supervision of TNO. In so-called pressure cookers agreements are made on how orders can be digitally exchanged between customers and suppliers. The system translates the information, as it were, from one application to another without any imposition of a common ‘language’. Such agreements and well aligned systems enable manufacturers to save a lot of time and money.
With lower transaction costs and less disruption due to communication errors, the smart connected supplier network could achieve an international breakthrough in time. In the final analysis, three factors are crucial: that data can and is shared simply (convenient/accessible), that it is done reliably (governance/security) and that such data is interoperable.
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