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TITLE
Why Use Standards?



ABSTRACT
Some of the general business benefits from using standards for the global industrial system are
summarised. This document is based on contributions to the Standards section of the Annual
Partnering Event of Europe INNOVA, Milan, 2007-10-14 to 16. Case studies are based on lessons
from wind turbines and the Europe INNOVA projects on building construction and health care.
The last section summarises the potential roles and benefits of the information representation
standards that are the core of the DEPUIS project




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0          2008-01-03 Norman Swindells
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CONTENTS


      Why Use Standards? .................................................................................................................... 1
      1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 3
      2. Case study – Wind turbines .................................................................................................... 3
      3. Case study – Building construction ........................................................................................ 4
      4. Case study – BioHealth ........................................................................................................... 4
      5. Discussion – role of DEPUIS.................................................................................................. 5
      6. Conclusions ............................................................................................................................. 5
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1. Introduction

The fundamental requirements for the global industrial system are:
    interoperability – partnership in a supply chain requires the exchange of information and
       knowledge with other partners in addition to the supply of products;
    sustainability – ensures that resources will continue to be available for the continuity of
       supply;
    quality assurance – ensures that products conform to agreed specifications and safety
       regulations and are fit for their intended purpose.

The use of standard specifications for hardware and processes are the accepted method of avoiding
misunderstanding and ambiguity in the supply chain for products. The exchange of information and
knowledge between different industrial systems also requires the use of specifications for the
representation of the information about the product and processes in order to avoid
misunderstandings and ambiguities arising from making implicit assumptions on behalf of the
recipient. The category of standards for the performance and requirements of products perform the
same function for the supply of information and knowledge as do the standards for the supply of
hardware and the benefits of these types of standards are enhanced by the use of the new standards
for the computerised representation of the information that they contain.

Interoperability based on standards also avoids collusion in the market and the concentration of
power either in the supply of hardware or in the supply and use of software. Interoperability can be
liberating for SMEs and for new entrants to a market because it enables diversity and innovation in
the supply of new products and services. The new standards for information representation do not
require the producer to reveal anything about his propriety knowledge that is not agreed in advance
with the customer.

This document is based on contributions made to the Standards section of the Annual Partnering
Event of Europe INNOVA, Milan, 2007-10-14 to16 (http://standards.eu-innova.org ).

2. Case study – Wind turbines

The development of standards was essential to support the creation in Denmark of the new industry
for the manufacture and installation of wind turbines. The new generation of wind turbines for the
generation of electrical power have rotor diameters of 160 metres, compared to the wing span of 80
metres for an Airbus 380.

The optimal benefits to society from such a development are achieved when there is public support.
While technological development drives the research and development, the sustainability of a
market requires quality assurance between all participants and the communication of common
factors to all stakeholders. The information in standards therefore provides a knowledge network
that anyone can access.

The development of standards for the wind turbine industry followed the sequence of specifications
for:
      safety and functional requirements;
      testing methods;
      certification procedures;
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         interfaces and components.

The lessons learned from the development of these standards were:
    a global business requires international standards;
    it is necessary to involve all stakeholders;
    to standardise requirements and methods for documentation rather than the technology;
    standards promote the acceptance of new technologies;
    new technologies or risks need certification based on standard to support the market.


3. Case study – Building construction

The review session for the STAND-INN project in Europe INNOVA emphasised the importance of
interoperability and sustainability. The STAND-INN project uses an information model for the
computerised information representation of construction data that resembles the standards
developed by ISO TC184/SC4.

The important advantages identified for this standard include:
    interoperability - to avoid collusion and the concentration of power in the market;
    awareness - of fragmentation issues arising from the use of proprietary software;
    liberation - enabling diversity of contract partnerships and supply chains.

The problem of fragmentation and diversity of software systems is a problem in the building and
construction industry because many of the partners in a project will not have worked together
before. The need for a dictionary of terms has also been identified in order to harmonise definitions
across international industrial systems.

The benefits of information representation standards included:
   the role of a new technology to speed up the transformation of the industry;
   the importance of standards for quality assurance;
   the reduction of risks and the generation of new opportunities for suppliers.

Awareness of these open standards is important because it can generate both innovation pull from
the construction industry and innovation push from software suppliers. However the use of these
standards should be invisible, apart from the recognition of the reduction in costs and effort that
they can achieve.

It is believed that performance-based standards will lead to innovation in the building and
construction industry and lead to the adoption of measurements and ratings, such has occurred with
the European domestic white goods market.

4. Case study – BioHealth

The review session for the BioHealth network provided the statistic that 50,000 people die each
year [in Europe] because of errors in the quality of data or the processing of health related
information. The conclusion from the project was that there should be a generic solution to this
problem and the first recommendation is that there should be a common ontology of terms for use
in this sector.
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5. Discussion – role of DEPUIS

Each of the examples described above has started from the need to define and standardise the
information that is the basis for the knowledge of their technology sector. The STAND-INN project
has reached the later stage of the development of a standard for the computerised representation of
the information in its sector. The BioHealth project has identified the need for a standardised
ontology. Each case study has regarded its requirements as unique and has started to explore the
development of standards that are uniquely identified as solutions able satisfy its needs.

However there are two common requirements in every case:
   a standard model to define the semantics and the syntax of the data that represents the
     information in the domain;
   a dictionary to define the ontology of the items of data in instances of the standard
     information model.

These universal requirements are provided for in the collection of standards that have been
developed by the Sub-committee 4 of ISO Technical Committee 184 (ISO TC184/SC4). Although
each of the SC4 standards has a specific title, and seem to be relevant only to a particular industrial
requirement, collectively they embody a universal truth that underlies all efforts of information
representation and communication.

Therefore there are important roles for DEPUIS in Europe INNOVA for the networks addressing
Standards in European Innovation that include generating awareness of:
    the universal requirements for standardised models for the representation of information;
    the benefits of the use of SC4 technologies for the creation of these models;
    the benefits of SC4 standards for the creation of ontologies represented by reference
       dictionaries and reference data libraries.

6. Conclusions

There were very important benefits from attending the Partnership Meeting of Europe INNOVA:
     there was the opportunity to learn of the reviewing procedures for when the DEPUIS
       project will be reported at the next partnership meeting;
     there was the opportunity to identify the common requirements for the use of information
       standards that the technology developed by ISO TC184/SC4 can support;

The DEPUIS project has an important role in Europe INNOVA to raise the awareness of the
technologies of SC4 that could provide solutions to a common requirement for the representation
and communication of information.

				
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