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Data sharing expands business in industry

The moment your company starts delivering in a data value chain comprising multiple partners, new challenges arise. The risk of leaks increases and, all of a sudden, you are not just selling from your regular product range – you have become a data provider.

The extensive digitalisation of industrial processes is resulting in the creation of large volumes of data. Data sets that can be used as a basis for decision-making or directly in control and monitoring systems. Or incorporated into AI algorithms to refine a specific production step.

– “Do not underestimate the complexity of data collection and data management when it comes to entire industrial and production processes,” says Marie-Louise Bergholt, Head of the Digitalisation in Industry focus area at RISE.

“You may feel confident with certain types of machines, which have sensors that can be monitored and calibrated. But what about machines from another manufacturer, how do they work? What data structure do they adhere to, how are they calibrated? You need to be able to co-analyse this.”

Standardisation is needed

Standardisation is a necessity for a data-driven industrial chain to function optimally – since it is, by its very nature, co-dependent and thus vulnerable. There needs to be agreed quality terms, common practice for data structures and data formats. When the goal of maximum interoperability between systems and companies becomes a reality, a delicate question arises: this data that we exchange, what value does it have? What price does it have?

Suppose Company 1 in the chain delivers a component to Company 2. Accompanying the component is data on how it was manufactured.

– “Then you’re selling both the product and the data,” says Bergholt. “The data should not be free. It constitutes added value since it increases the quality of Company 2’s end product.”

Determining the price involves factors such as data quality, structure, whether the data is standardised, and how it fits into the customer’s work process. This is another example of the increased complexity arising from multiple value chains and partners with different needs for their systems.

– “If it can be used directly, it has significantly higher value. If it’s a mixed bag, it will have a different value.”

The data should not be free

Shared data places demands on security

With several industry operators sharing data with one another, strict security requirements are placed on sharing solutions. Bergholt says that research into value chains in recent years shows that cybersecurity is a priority area and that more needs to be done concerning the risks of leaks and manipulation.

– “What kind of data do we feel secure sharing or providing to another customer? This is where agreements, the law, confidentiality and so on come into play to ensure that process data does not fall into the wrong hands, such as a competitor that can produce at a lower price.”

Test your systems in RISE's cyber range

RISE runs a cyber range facility in Kista where systems can be tested. The target groups are industry and the public sector.

– “There you can set up such a scenario and test it independently from a production process, thus avoiding disrupting a company’s day-to-day operations,” says Bergholt.

Published: 2021-06-02
Marie-Louise Bergholt

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Marie-Louise Bergholt

Fokusområdesledare för Digitalisering inom industrin/Forsknings- och affärsutvecklare

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