A new data ecosystem from Catena-X offers a way to standardize the automotive supply chain
A main theme that emerged at this year’s Hannover Messe was interoperability; with the establishment of secure and holistic systems to connect supply chains and ensure sustainability and growing demand from consumers and investors.
Catena-X is an association that seeks to meet this demand, with its new automotive network, the first integrated ecosystem of open data for the automotive sector; connect industry players throughout the supply chain. Partly funded by the German government and partly by internal stakeholders, the association uses the GAIA cloud platform – a European data infrastructure federation that offers an alternative to large cloud providers.
Although the association has ambitions beyond the automotive industry, for now it aims to optimize this sector, create transparency throughout the supply chain, improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
According to Steve Schindler-Le Huray, Senior Project Engineer, the ecosystem allows the exchange of data throughout the value chain: from supplier to production, from car manufacturers to car dismantling.
“All of this needs to be done in a standardized way that preserves data sovereignty,” he says. “We want to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges, so we had to create a way to exchange data in a harmonized way.”
To maintain the security of the data itself, Catena-X’s platform does not store any of the information but simply directs it to the party that needs it. By using this peer-to-peer system, Catena-X itself does not need to include its own security frameworks.
The platform was primarily driven by an industry need for supply chain resilience, as well as evolving regulatory requirements to place greater emphasis on transparency, and finally for economic benefits. that the supply chain connection would bring.
“The automotive industry is dominated by big players,” says Huray. “While interoperability is not a new concept, the game-changer here is those industry members coming together and working on the same platform.”
Although each stage of the supply chain may be distinct, Huray says they share the common goal of monitoring carbon emissions and contributing to the circular economy.
“The goals are the same, but the system is a playground where everyone can find their own solutions,” says Huray. “The goal is ultimately an automated, self-managed system. We’re not there yet, we need to decentralize it and scale it, but we think it’s a use case without web perfect and we are excited about its potential.