End-to-end data exchange in the automotive value chain is the vision and goal of the Catena-X network, which was founded in May 2021. The network aims to create a platform for all companies along the automotive value chain, in which companies - from SMEs to corporate groups - can jointly use end-to-end data chains. up2parts GmbH from Weiden in the Upper Palatinate is developing the Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) area for Catena-X together with partners. Ayscha Blum is leading the project for up2parts.
The software and AI experts at up2parts are working on digital solutions for manufacturing to increase the efficiency of production processes through the use of artificial intelligence. "Simplify manufacturing" is the name of the approach that the company is pursuing and thereby wants to enable small and medium-sized companies in particular to take the step into digitization. As part of Catena-X, up2parts is now also using its expertise to build the automotive markets of the future. "Catena-X sees itself as an expandable ecosystem in which automotive manufacturers and suppliers, dealer associations, and equipment suppliers, which include application, platform, and infrastructure providers, can all participate in equal measure," explains Ayscha Blum, who as a project engineer is helping to develop infrastructure and standardization in the MaaS environment and also forms the interface between the Catena-X network and the development department at up2parts GmbH.
Numerous global players involved
For the 33-year-old, who completed her master's degree in media technology at the Technical University of Deggendorf in 2015 and subsequently worked for well-known automotive suppliers and service providers in positions of responsibility, this is an exciting task. Not least because the Catena-X network includes numerous global players from the automotive industry (including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen), telecommunications (Telekom) and mechanical engineering (Bosch, DMG MORI, Siemens, Trumpf).
Digitalization and standardization
As an expert in digital, AI-based manufacturing processes from component calculation to quality assurance, the software company up2parts plays an important role in the implementation of Catena-X. A project consortium - consisting of 28 companies - is supported with a seven-figure grant from the Ministry of Economics. So up2parts' know-how is in high demand. "Our task is, among other things, the digitalization of the Manufacturing as a Service area," Ayscha Blum describes the specific task. "This means that we first have to implement the integration of the up2parts cloud into various third-party systems and the connection of manufacturing companies and customers, for example via API interfaces to ERP or BKM systems." Part of the task for this is also to standardize file formats, such as component descriptions. "Only through standardization can an end-to-end digital value chain be created in the end," says Blum. Data security and data sovereignty will also play a major role, and so a GAIA-X- as well as IDSA-compliant cloud infrastructure is to be created.
First results available soon
Development work is in full swing, and the first results from the "MaaS" subproject are to be presented as early as the Hannover Messe 2022. The young company up2parts hopes to be able to open up new fields of application for its solutions in the network. At the same time, Catena-X will give the software company a growth spurt. Exciting tasks await software developers, data scientists and manufacturing experts at up2parts.
About the Catena-X Automotive Network e.V.
Catena-X sees itself as a rapidly scalable expandable ecosystem in which all participants in the automotive value chain can equally participate. The goal: to provide an environment for the creation, operation and collaborative use of end-to-end data chains along the entire automotive value chain.
Since the foundation of the Catena-X Automotive Network e.V. in May 2021, the activities around the development of common technological foundations, requirements and standards for the data ecosystem have been bundled in the association structure. As of today (February 15, 2022), the Catena-X Automotive Network e.V. has 84 members who are active as providers and users in the automotive value chain and cover a wide range of company sizes. Special attention is paid to the integration of SMEs.
The association is complemented by a "workbench" - i.e. implementation-oriented projects that build a secure, interoperable and neutral technological basis as well as service offerings for the Catena-X digital ecosystem. As far as possible, development is based on open source principles.
Further information is available on the Internet at https://catena-x.net.