Breakthrough in SMART Standards

DIN and DKE successfully complete first pilot projects under the Digital Standards Initiative (IDiS)

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Up to now, the application and use of standards has required many individual manual steps. The information from the corresponding standard has to be captured, extracted and transferred to other systems by humans to the greatest possible extent. The Digital Standards Initiative (IDiS) of DIN and DKE is therefore of crucial importance when it comes to improving the competitiveness of German industry: What if standards content is digitally prepared and can be read and applied by both humans and machines?

Several times now, it has been possible to demonstrate live in operation how SMART standard content is read and applied independently by a machine. The demonstration is the result of one of the pilot projects within IDiS. In the development of SMART standards, DIN and DKE focus on practical application scenarios. Companies provide the technical expertise for the standards content and are at the same time the users. For this reason, various pilots on specific use cases were created together with industry and partners from science.

In search of the ideal format for SMART standards

The "Conformity Testing" pilot project, which was demonstrated at the Hanover Trade Fair and other events, focused on the basis for possible automation and what advantages result from it. It was thus possible to illustrate that manual effort is significantly minimized. As a result, there are also fewer opportunities for transferring errors, and quality and efficiency improve enormously. The other pilot projects addressed further questions: What requirements must the format of a digital standard meet so that SMART standards fit optimally into Industrie 4.0 (I4.0)? And how can the standards that are developed and applied within the companies be reconciled with the digital standard - without disclosing sensitive information, of course? In addition, an AI-supported language model has been developed to facilitate research in the German standards system. This enables users of standards to see at a glance which content and requirements are relevant to them.

DKE Managing Director Michael Teigeler: "We have already achieved many notable milestones with IDiS. This shows us the benefits that arise when hardware, software and standard work together on a digital level. We see that the demand in the industry is very high, because SMART Standards improve the competitiveness of companies in one fell swoop. Processes are simplified, it saves time and money. Innovations in the area of sustainability, for example, are easier to implement." 

Christoph Winterhalter, CEO of DIN: "The future of standardization is digital. With the IDiS pilot projects, we are taking another important step here. Our goal is for standards to be available to industry in such a way that, ideally, they can be automatically integrated into the control loop of production, for example, and can flow directly into the industry's digital systems, concepts and formats. A clear time advantage with significant cost savings."

Industry 4.0 as an ideal application

With the pilot projects completed, the preliminary work is on the home stretch. Starting in September, an interdisciplinary team will address a possible harmonized format for digital standards. This is because SMART standards require harmonization both at the level of the standards organizations through standardized formats, processes and interfaces. In addition, however, they must also be harmonized with the users, i.e. the companies. In a further project, the connection to Industry 4.0 will then be deepened. I4.0 is the ideal use case for SMART standards, because the concept is aimed at the intelligent and autonomous networking of assets such as components, machines or plants. SMART standards can help establish interoperability with partners in the value network, which simplifies standards-based processes such as product certification.

DIN and DKE have summarized the findings from the pilot projects in a Management Summary, which can be found at the new IDiS-Website.


DIN e. V.
Peter Rauh

Am DIN-Platz
Burggrafenstraße 6
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