Scholarly article on topic 'Data Interfaces of IPS2-Execution Systems – Connecting Virtual Organization Units for the Delivery Management of IPS2'

Data Interfaces of IPS2-Execution Systems – Connecting Virtual Organization Units for the Delivery Management of IPS2 Academic research paper on "Computer and information sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Computer and information sciences, author of scientific article — Thomas Dorka, Friedrich Morlock, Horst Meier

Abstract For the management of the delivery of Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2), an IPS2-Execution System (IPS2-ES) can be used. This software system provides means of managing the provider network as well as planning the IPS2 delivery. However, to execute these tasks, different types of data are required and have to be collected from the different partners involved in the lifecycle of IPS2. This paper describes which data types are needed to efficiently and effectively organize the IPS2 delivery. Additionally, the origin of each data type is shown and a way of connecting network partners as virtual organization units to the IPS2-ES is described. Conclusively, an outlook for further research is given.

Academic research paper on topic "Data Interfaces of IPS2-Execution Systems – Connecting Virtual Organization Units for the Delivery Management of IPS2"

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Procedia CIRP 16 (2014) 373 - 378

Product Services Systems and Value Creation. Proceedings of the 6th CIRP Conference on Industrial

Product-Service Systems

Data Interfaces of IPS2-Execution Systems - Connecting Virtual Organization Units for the Delivery Management of IPS2

Thomas Dorka*, Friedrich Morlock, Horst Meier

Ruhr-University of Bochum, Chair for Production Systems, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany * Corresponding author. Tel.: +49-234-32-28925; fax: +49-234-32-08925. E-mail address: dorka@lps.rub.de

Abstract

For the management of the delivery of Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2), an IPS2-Execution System (IPS2-ES) can be used. This software system provides means of managing the provider network as well as planning the IPS2 delivery. However, to execute these tasks, different types of data are required and have to be collected from the different partners involved in the lifecycle of IPS2. This paper describes which data types are needed to efficiently and effectively organize the IPS2 delivery. Additionally, the origin of each data type is shown and a way of connecting network partners as virtual organization units to the IPS2-ES is described. Conclusively, an outlook for further research is given.

© 2014 Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selectionandpeer-reviewunderresponsibility ofthelnternational ScientificCommittee of "The 6th CIRP Conference on Industrial Product-Service Systems" in the person of the Conference Chair Professor Hoda ElMaraghy"

Keywords: Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2); IPS2-Execution System (IPS2-ES); Service Delivery Management

1. Introduction

Providing customer-specific value in an industrial setting can be achieved by Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2, [1-4]). They allow for an integrated use of product and service shares while uniting suppliers, partners and customers to achieve superior solutions. However, the knowledge-intensive socio-technical nature of IPS2 ([2]) also constitutes a major challenge for providers throughout the whole lifecycle. Thus, particularly for IPS2, their development, planning and delivery are non-trivial tasks. An IPS2 provider needs partners who have expertise in different fields to be able to deliver a contracted customer value. Therefore, a network of partners is formed to support the IPS2 provider in the execution of these activities [5]. The network consists of several virtual organization units (VOU), each representing the parts of a company that are involved in the partner network and can be perceived as an individual organization. This paper shows what data need to be exchanged between the VOU to be able

to efficiently organize the delivery of multiple IPS2 with the aid of a software system.

During the development phase, a partner network is defined and a model [6, 7] for each IPS2 provided by the supplier is created. The models contain detailed descriptions of the product and service shares of a specific IPS2. Both the information about the network and parts of the model data can then be used to organize the IPS2 delivery during the operation phase. They are especially needed for the functionality that is provided by an IPS2-Execution System (IPS2-ES, [8-10]).

An IPS2-ES is a software system that supports the IPS2 provider in the organization of the IPS2 delivery and the management of the partner network. Therefore, it needs information about the delivery processes that have to be scheduled and the resources that are needed to execute the processes. For each IPS2, information about the delivery processes can be found in the model. However, the information about the available resources is not directly at hand. Hence, basic information about the network partners is

2212-8271 © 2014 Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the International Scientific Committee of "The 6th CIRP Conference on Industrial

Product-Service Systems" in the person of the Conference Chair Professor Hoda ElMaraghy"

doi:10.1016/j.procir.2014.01.020

needed so that their software systems can be connected to the IPS2-ES. By doing so, they can deliver the required data about the resources they supply and can receive updated delivery schedules from the IPS2-ES.

The structure of this paper is as follows: Chapter 2 provides a short introduction about the state of the art and related works. By giving detailed information in chapter 3 and 4 about what data is submitted, who is the sender and who is the receiver, what the contents of that data are and what fundamental interfaces have to be established, this paper conclusively shows how the IPS2-ES can efficiently support the organization of the delivery of IPS2. The conclusion is summarized in chapter 5.

2. State of the Art

This chapter defines the foundation on which the presented findings are based. Therefore, apart from a general definition of IPS2, the delivery in networks as well as the planning for IPS2 and IPS2-Execution Systems are described.

2.1. Industrial Product-Service Systems (IPS2)

According to [2] IPS2 can be defined as follows:

"An Industrial Product-Service System is characterized by the integrated and mutually determined planning, development, provision and use of product and service shares including its immanent software components in Business-to-Business applications and represents a knowledge-intensive socio-technical system"

The main aim of IPS2 is to deliver customer value instead of supplying products and offering services. By doing so, the IPS2 provider stays in contact with the IPS2 customer throughout the whole lifecycle of the IPS2, which consists of the following phases [11]: planning, development, implementation, operation (also delivery and use) and closure. The focus of the presented research lies on the operation phase, where a network of partners around the IPS2 provider and the customer work together to deliver the IPS2.

2.2. IPS2 Delivery in Networks

After planning, developing and implementing an IPS2, the delivery and use of the IPS2 is the purpose of the operation phase. As an IPS2 provider does not necessarily have all required know-how and capacity to deliver all IPS2, a network of partners is formed to support the IPS2 provider. This value creation network ([12]), as mentioned in [13] and further developed in [5], consists of product suppliers, service suppliers, IPS2 module suppliers, the IPS2 provider and the IPS2 customers. For the delivery, a delivery plan is created with a specific planning algorithm so that the existing demand for delivery processes can be distributed to the available resources provided by the network.

2.3. Planning for IPS2

For the delivery of IPS2, strategic, tactical and operational

planning is used. Literature provides only few approaches for planning in the context of IPS2.

In [14] capacity planning is the main focus. The dissertation presents a good overview of planning approaches for products as well as for services and also develops an integrated approach for IPS2.

In [15] and its related works [16-19], a method for strategic capacity planning and operational resource planning is proposed. According to [20], it can be argued that the planning horizon for the strategic capacity planning is practically a tactical planning approach in comparison with other planning literature. Nevertheless, the planning method, which leverages a genetic algorithm, can be used to create a delivery plan that can serve as the basis for the IPS2 delivery. For software systems supporting the IPS2 delivery, the task of planning is one of the main functions they have to provide

2.4. IPS2-Execution System (IPS2-ES)

In [10], a definition of an IPS2-ES is given as follows:

"An IPS2-Execution System is the essential software system for the IPS2 operation phase that supports the IPS2 provider in the provision of customer value by adaptive IPS2 delivery planning, IPS2 network management and an integrated performance measurement method."

The adaptive IPS2 delivery planning refers to the planning methods described in chapter 2.3, while the IPS2 network management integrates the partners of the provider network (described in chapter 2.2) into the IPS2-ES. Not least, the integrated performance measurement method (see [21]) helps to ensure an efficient and effective organization of the IPS2 delivery as an integrated service in an IPS2-ES. To execute the tasks listed in the definition and provide necessary information, data from different parties are required, which is described in the following chapter.

3. Data Exchange with an IPS2-ES

Not only does an IPS2-ES require special data for the execution of its tasks, but it also provides other essential data. There are seven types of data that have to be considered to support the delivery of IPS2 with an IPS2-ES (see Table 1): provider network data, IPS2 model data, resource profile and availability data, service communication data, delivery plan data, unplanned demand data and delivery process feedback data. The different types of data have to be supplied in due time by the participants of the provider network.

During the use of an IPS2-ES, data about the provider network is first needed. This data defines which partners are involved in the provider network and hence the IPS2-ES can enable the data exchange with these partners' VOU inside the IPS2-ES. Also, services provided by these partners (e.g. the online ordering of spare parts) can be made available. The IPS2-ES uses a self-configuration mechanism to achieve both actions without the need of user intervention [9]. The provider network data also defines which types of resources (i.e. human resources, tools or spare parts) or which specific resources a partner may contribute to the delivery of IPS2.

Data Type

Table 1. Data Types and their Sections

Data Sections

ï £ s £|Q

â S Ö 5 O

Partner Network configuration 1.1 Enabled Partner IDs

1.1.1 Enabled Resource IDs / Types

1.1.2 Enabled Service IDs

IPS2 Data

2.1 IPS2 ID

2.2 IPS2 Location

Delivery Processes

3.1 Delivery Process ID

3.2 Time Windows / Schedule for Execution

3.3 Requirements of Resources

3.3.1 Required Remote Human Resources

3.3.2 Required Human Resources

3.3.3 Required Tools

3.3.4 Required Spare Parts

3.4 Replacement Delivery Process IDs

4. Resources (Human Resources, Tools, Spare Parts)

■c 4.1 Resource Availability

§ & 4.2 Resource Costs

as w 4.3 Resource Profile

Ph ■= 4.3 a Human Resource Skills

m -O (j a — ~ 4.3 b Tool Types

© > <3 4.3 c Spare Part Type

5. IPS2 Data

5.1 IPS2 Availability for Service

Service Communication Data

This data depends on the interfaces needed or

provided by each specific service.

7. Delivery Plan (possibly filtered)

7.1 Validity Period

7.2 Delivery Processes 7.2.1 Assigned Time Window

Delivery Plan Data 7.3 7.2.2 Assigned Resources (Human Resources, Tools, Spare Parts) Planned Transportations

7.3.1 Assigned Resources (Human Resources, Tools, Spare Parts) 7.3.2 Origin/Destination

7.3.3 Mode of Transportation

7.4 Planned Overnight Stays 7.4.1 Assigned Human Resources 7.4.2 Location

Unplanned Delivery Process Request

8.1 Requesting IPS2 ID

8.2 Requested Delivery Process ID

8.3 Requested Time Window for Execution

« 10. Delivery Process Feedback

at a 10.1 Reporting IPS2 ID

•— P D 10.2 Delivery Process ID

y r « .o 10.3 Process Start/End Time/Date

e e 10.4 Number of Errors During Process Execution

eD 10.5 Process Abort (yes / no)

Once all partners from the provider network are added and configured, the planning of the IPS2 delivery can be prepared. For the planning, the following two types of data are required.

First, parts of the general IPS2 model data [6] for each IPS2, originating from the IPS2 development, have to be transmitted to the IPS2-ES. This constitutes the transition from the development phase to the delivery phase inside the IPS2 lifecycle. The required information consists of information about the described IPS2 (identifier and location) and information about the delivery processes for this IPS2. The delivery processes have to be described by a unique identifier (e.g. "Micro Milling Spindle Maintenance"), the time windows for execution (e.g. "Monday, 8am to Wednesday 7pm") and the execution schedule (e.g. "every two weeks") and resource requirements (e.g. Spare Part "Lubricant xyz", Tool "Standard Toolbox" and Human Resource "Spindle Service Technician"). Examples for Remote Human Resources are service experts that support a service technician through an augmented reality system worn by the technician. A list of delivery processes that can replace this delivery process, if required, can also be added to the description.

Secondly, resource profile and availability data is needed for an IPS2 delivery planning. This data includes the service availability of an IPS2 (also treated as a resource here), i.e. the definition of the time windows the IPS2 is available for delivery processes. Apart from that, the resources available for service are specified. For each resource, be it a human resource, a tool or a spare part, its availability, its costs and its profile has to be contained. Here, the resource profile provides a list of the skills of a human resource, the different tool types a tool implements or a definition of the type of a particular spare part.

Given the described data, the IPS2-ES can execute the IPS2 delivery planning, e.g. as presented in [15]. During the execution of the planning algorithm, route planning services or services for the calculation of logistic costs are contacted. Hence, service communication data, i.e. data that is required to communicate with a given service, is exchanged. However, depending on the services, the communication interfaces might differ between services and therefore, the communication data cannot be described in general. To provide an example, the outgoing service communication data to a route planning service might be an origin and destination pair, while the incoming service data might consist of the duration of travel for the calculated route along with a turn-by-turn description of the route. The result of a successful run of the IPS2 delivery planning is a delivery plan for all IPS2 the IPS2 provider supplies. The data about the delivery plan has to be sent out to the partners in the provider network to inform them which of their provided resources is utilized in the newly generated delivery plan. The delivery plan data contains a validity period of the plan and a list of planned delivery processes, planned transportations and planned overnight stays. The scheduled time and the assigned resources are contained for each planned delivery process. The assigned resources, the origin and destination and the mode of transportation (e.g. car, train, taxi, mail, etc.) are specified for each of the planned transportations. Finally, each overnight stay for human resources at specific locations is described. Due to the fact that not all receivers of the IPS2 delivery plan are entitled to see all resource assignments, a filtered version of the delivery plan data, containing only

information the receiver is authorized to see, may be transmitted.

Whenever an unplanned demand for a new delivery process occurs for an IPS2, this demand has to be reported to the IPS2-ES in order to schedule the desired process. The data required to issue the request is the identifier of the requesting IPS2, the identifier of the requested delivery process and the desired time window for the execution of the process. The newly requested delivery process can then be included in the planning and the newly generated delivery plan data can be sent out.

For each delivery process that is executed for an IPS2, a process feedback can be reported to the IPS2-ES. This report has to define the reporting IPS2 ID, the delivery process ID for which the feedback is given, the start and end time and date of the executed process and the number of errors that occurred during the process execution. Additionally, it can be reported whether the process was aborted, marking the execution of the process as failed. This data is required for the performance measurement method of the IPS2-ES, described in [21], which uses this data to measure the performance of the IPS2 delivery. Examples for Key Performance Indicators can be found in [22].

The data types described above show how diverse the different contents are. Moreover, the data do not only differ in their content, but also in their origin (see Figure 1), size and frequency of updates (see Figure 2). In general, the IPS2-ES is connected to other IPS2-specific software systems, namely the IPS2-Lifecycle Management System and the IPS2-Control System, and to external systems like route planning web services and the heterogonous software landscapes of the network partners. In this software environment, the IPS2-ES receives data required for the organization of IPS2 delivery, generates necessary data for the delivery with the use of web services and provides the data to other software systems. It works closely together with the IPS2-Control System in a closed feedback loop.

The provider network data and the IPS2 model data both originate from the IPS2 development. After the data are created and released, they are stored in the IPS2-Lifecycle Management System (IPS2-LMS, [23, 24]) and then sent to

the IPS2-ES. Whenever information about the provider network or IPS2 model data change inside the IPS2-LMS an update has to be transmitted to the IPS2-ES.

Service communication data originates from the IPS2-ES and is sent to one of the external services. The data is used mainly in a request/response type of communication. The IPS2-ES sends out a request to a service to get support in executing its tasks. The contacted service then responds with the requested service data.

As mentioned before, the delivery plan data originates from the IPS2-ES. The data is sent to the IPS2-LMS for further reference by parties involved in the IPS2 lifecycle. It is also sent out in filtered form to the network partners. The IPS2-Control System (IPS2-CS, [25, 26]) needs the delivery plan data to ensure a robust control of the IPS2 delivery.

Vice versa, the IPS2-CS sends unplanned demand data to the IPS2-ES when the closed loop control for an IPS2 is not capable of controlling the IPS2 delivery within the boundaries of the given delivery plan. In this case, a new delivery process is necessary and the demand is escalated. Additionally, the IPS2-CS sends feedback data for each delivery process, regardless of whether it has been aborted or successfully finished. The complicated closed loop control represented by the IPS2-ES in conjunction with the IPS2-CS and other support systems is presented more closely in [24].

Not least, resource profile and availability data originate from the partners in the provider network. However, due to the heterogeneous and partner-specific software environments, the data needed by the IPS2-ES is potentially distributed in several software systems in use by the partner. An approach to connect the partners as virtual organization units (VOU) is presented in the next chapter.

Data Size

Z"" ^---^s. ^-'---''''nDeliveryPlan Data

J-""""^ / t0\ /l^ Model Data

- Resource Profile

( \ / \\ and Availability

\ \ / —J^ A Data

•H Service Communi-

cation Data

-IProvider Network

1 \\ /¿-HDeliveryProcess

\ \\ J ^-"-"y / Feedback Data

low \ Unplanned

— j^agL i —Demand Data

low high

Frequency of Data Updates

Figure 2. Data Size and Frequency of Data Updates for IPS2-ES Data Types

4. Connecting Virtual Organization Units for the Delivery Management of IPS2

The heterogeneous partners that form the provider network use diverse software systems to store their data. An Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP, see for example [27]) might store data about product stocks as well as personnel master data, while a Manufacturing Execution System (MES, see for example [28]) contains detailed information about the

IPS'-Lifecycle Management System

Provider Network Data and IPS2 Model Data .

Network Partners

IPS2-ES

Organisation of IPS' Delivery:

- Network Management

- Delivery Planning

- Performance Measurement

Unplanned Demand Data and Delivery Process Feedback Data

Figure 1. Data Flows and the IPS2-ES

completion times of new products and a Service Management Software (SMS, see for example [29]) manages personnel availability and assignment data. In another company, the whole setup of software systems is potentially completely different, ranging from simple spread sheets to a highly sophisticated and automated IT environment. However, the IPS2-ES needs to be able to receive data from any given IT setup present at a network partner. As an additional challenge, the data of the partners should be as up-to-date as possible. This is required for the operational planning used in the IPS2-ES, which relies on current data to determine feasible delivery plans (see [21]).

To overcome both obstacles for a simple connection of network partners, each network partner is represented in the IPS2-ES as a VOU service (see also [9, 10]). These services hide the partner-specific IT environment and shift the responsibility of up-to-date data to the corresponding network partner.

First of all, each partner has to identify where the data the IPS2-ES requires can be found in his software systems. An ideal IPS2 supplier has all data already available. However, suppliers without a history of providing resources for the delivery of an IPS2 might have to find a way to gather existing data and derive the required information (see [20]). For each software system that contains or can contribute to the required data, an interface needs to be established to transmit data to the corresponding VOU inside the IPS2-ES. Each partner can be represented by more than one VOU in the IPS2 Network, if required, allowing for a structured provision of information (e.g. VOU1: Maintenance Service Division, VOU2: Remote Support Service Division).

One approach to connect the different software systems of a partner is to build a software-specific adapter for each new software system. For partners who join the provider network at a later point of time, the existing adapters can be reused and extended to fit the new partners' needs. By identifying common changes in the adapters, an easily configurable software connector can be developed which can be used with little or no implementation effort. A standard (e.g. XML [30]) or de facto-standard (e.g. JSON [31]) schema should be used for the transmission of the data, e.g. via web services (see [32]). Nevertheless, even proprietary data formats can be used with custom adapter implementations.

Having established a way to push the data to the VOU inside the IPS2-ES, it is now in the hand of the supplier to implement the essential task of keeping the data up-to-date. Using this push technology, each part of the resource profile and availability data can be made available in the VOU (see Figure 3). Ultimately, the IPS2-ES can use the data of all VOU using a pull technique because the VOU work like an intermediary storage containing the most recent data of a supplier.

5. Conclusion and Outlook

In this paper, data types as well as senders and receivers of data in context of the use of an IPS2-ES have been outlined to foster the profound understanding of an IPS2 delivery and the IPS2-ES in particular. The data types and their content as well

as the depicted way of connecting VOU with an IPS2-ES can serve as a guideline for future implementations. Additionally, partners wanting to join a provider network for an IPS2 delivery can determine what effort they have to invest to provide the required data.

Partner-specific IT Environments

IPS2-ES Network of

Virtual Organization Units

Network Partner 1

Figure 3. Connecting Network Partners as Virtual Organization Units in the IPS2-ES

In [14, 33] a data model for capacity planning for product-service systems has already been outlined, however, the focus on operational tasks, as implemented by the IPS2-ES, have not been taken into account. Also, approaches for advanced planning and scheduling solutions (see for example [34-36]) have not considered the specific nature of IPS2, e.g. the heterogeneous network of VOU. Hence, the findings presented in this paper can serve as valuable input for further research in the area of the delivery of IPS2. The active exchange of data between the IPS2-ES and the partners' systems as well as IPS2-specific software systems as described in this paper are required to enable the IPS2-ES to efficiently support the IPS2 delivery by executing its tasks.

As an outlook, prototypical implementations of adapters and case studies with IPS2 suppliers can be carried out to enrich the described approach with examples. The findings for the delivery of IPS2 with an IPS2-ES can also be used to review the way industrial services are managed today and improve this foundation towards the extensive establishment of IPS2.

Acknowledgements

We express our sincere thanks to the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) for financing this publication within the Collaborative Research Center Transregio 29 (CRC/TR 29) on Industrial Product-Service Systems - dynamic interdependencies between products and services in the production area.

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