DIN - New forms of cooperation
Coordination of standardization relating to "Industry 4.0" - Standards support the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP)
An important element in implementing "Industry 4.0", the IT-based 4th industrial revolution, is standardization. "Without standards and specifications, the way towards the 'smart factory' will lead nowhere. This new merging of virtual worlds with real production requires an unprecedented integration of all systems - this can only be achieved with the help of standards and specifications", said Dr Torsten Bahke, Chairman of DIN's Executive Board, at DIN's annual press conference held at the 2014 Hanover Fair. To support the industrial, R&D and public sectors in implementing Industry 4.0, DIN has set up infrastructures facilitating the effective cooperation of specialists in all areas. At the beginning of the year, a steering body was set up to coordinate standardization in this area, and a standardization roadmap giving recommendations for action has been drawn up. DIN is also involved in Industry 4.0 projects run by the Federal Ministries for economic affairs and research. The aim is to rapidly disseminate project results throughout the world by developing standards during the R&D stage.
DIN as a catalyst for innovation
"Over the past few years, we have developed the 'DIN SPEC', or DIN Specification, to help quickly translate new ideas into products that are mature enough for the market. While a DIN Standard is developed when the greatest possible public legitimation is needed, the DIN SPEC is more suitable when speed is of the essence or full consensus is not (yet) required," Dr Torsten Bahke explained. "Promoting innovation is our express goal. We monitor innovative topics and proactively encourage standardization in areas which can give the German economy a competitive advantage, for example biotechnology, logistics, 'smart cities', and the 'Energiewende'".
Standards and specifications support the transatlantic free trade agreement
Speaking on the upcoming Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), Dr Bahke said: "The aim now is to discover new forms of cooperation that will make uniform standards and specifications available to companies in the US and in Europe, helping to lower costs and open up markets. The most promising approach is to single out areas in which bilateral standards and specifications can be developed - especially highly innovative topics and technologies for which an established body of standards does not yet exist. However, industry itself must identify projects which are suitable for bilateral work. A common regulatory framework is another prerequisite for bilateral standards work."
New forms of cooperation with technical associations and other standards setters
DIN is intensifying its cooperation at national level with technical associations and other standards setters, helping them bring their technical rules to European standardization. This will help European Standards have an even greater positive effect on the Internal Market, while at the same time bringing to European level the high quality laid down in German Standards. One example is the extensive cooperation with the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) the goal of which is to bring DVGW codes of practice on drinking water to European and international standardization. "We are establishing a German position together with the DVGW and are jointly deciding on how we will represent this position outside of Germany", said Rüdiger Marquardt, Member of DIN's Executive Board. "Only via DIN can national standards and specifications become recognized at European or even international level."
Growing number of new subjects for standardization
DIN President Dr Klaus Homann brought attention to the growing number of active standards projects - currently slightly more than 7,000. This is a result not only of the extensive updating of the current collection of standards, but also to the development of new subjects for standardization. As a result, the number of experts from all areas of the economy and society who are involved in standardization has also grown - this number has increased by more than 2,000 over the past five years to a total of 30,698 by the end of 2013.