Collaboration Network for Industry, Manufacturing, Business and Logistics in Europe


NIMBLE: collaboration Network for Industry, Manufacturing, Business and Logistics in Europe will develop the infrastructure for a cloud-based, Industrie 4.0, Internet-of-things-enabled B2B platform on which European manufacturing firms can register, publish machine-readable catalogs for products and services, search for suitable supply chain partners, negotiate contracts and supply logistics, and develop private and secure B2B and M2M information exchange channels to optimise business work flows. The infrastructure will be developed as open source software under an Apache-type, permissive license.

The governance model is a federation of platforms for multi-sided trade, with mandatory interoperation functions and optional added-value business functions that can be provided by third parties. This will foster the growth of a net-centric business ecosystem for sustainable innovation and fair competition as envisaged by the Digital Agenda 2020. Prospective NIMBLE providers can take the open source infrastructure and bundle it with sectoral, regional or functional added value services and launch a new platform in the federation. Internet platforms need fast adoption rates and the work plan reflects this: we start attracting early adopters from day one and develop the initial, working platform in year one. Added-value business functions follow in year two and final validation at large scale, involving hundreds of external firms, will happen in year three.

Our adoption plan is designed to enable two or more platform providers at the end of the project, and to have 1000 to 2000 enterprises connected to the overall ecosystem at that point. NIMBLE has 17 partners grouped around 3 main activities: developing the infrastructure, running a platform adoption programme, and validating the platform with 4 supply chains (white goods, wooden houses, fashion fabrics, and child care furniture). NIMBLE will give manufacturing SMEs in Europe a stable and sustainable digital ecosystem.

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Increasing human achievements in manufacturing systems

      user interfaces targeting various user groups:

      • Field technicians / operators, e.g. visualization of bill of material
      • Supply chain experts, e.g. visualization of legislation data
      • Production / quality engineers, e.g. designing new business process for new collaborations, e.g. monitoring status of incoming goods
      • Sales / marketing representatives, e.g. partner search for supply chains
      • Product designers / design engineers, e.g. visualization of quality/design/production data
      • Software developers, e.g. software design/deployment facilities e.g. DevOps for Cloud-based applications or IBM Bluemix services.

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Operating systems FIWARE
Programming Frameworks – Software Development Kits (SDKs)

      Applied Technologies:

      Spring Boo: Spring Boot is a framework for building web applications. It is built on top of the Spring Framework and follows a zero-configuration principle. The major set of microservices are build using Spring Boot as an application framework.

      Spring Cloud: Functionalities for building and integrating microservices are provided by Spring Cloud. It mainly aggregates components of the Netflix Open Source Software (Netflix OSS) project and makes them easily be integrated with

      Spring Boot applications. Components of the underlying microservice infrastructure are heavily using modules from Spring Cloud (e.g. Service Discovery, Configuration Server and Gateway Proxy).

      Spring Cloud Security: Standardized security mechanisms are implemented using Spring Cloud Security. It provides out-of-the-box integration of security modules to Spring Cloud applications. Authentication and authorization between microservices are realized by using Spring Cloud Security, which supports OAuth2 and OpenID Connect and communicates with the authentication server (i.e. Cloud Foundry UAA).

      ELK Stack Logs can be streamed to Logstash, which stores them persistently in Elastic Search. visualizations are done using Kibana, hence the ELK stack. The ELK stack is used to aggregate log output of distributed microservices in order to centrally perform analysis of generated log output.

      Cloud Foundry UAA: The Cloud Foundry User Account and Authentication (UAA) is a multi tenant identity management service, available as a stand alone OAuth2 server issuing tokens for clients. Cloud Foundry UAA acts as identity and authentication server issuing OpenID Connect tokens.

      Camunda BPM: Camunda BPM is an open source platform for business process management. Camunda BPM is used for the definition and execution of business processes (e.g. supply chain process).

      Apache Marmotta: Apache Marmotta is an open implementation of a linked data platform. Apache Marmotta will be mainly used to store catalog data and perform product-search queries. Apache Solr Apache Solr is a free-text indexing tool providing advanced search and navigation capabilities on the indexed data. Apache Marmotta uses Apache Solr for its semantic search cores composed semantic features of indexed items.

      Docker: Docker is an open-source solution for application deployment, consisting of prebuilt images running inside a container. Docker will be used for intermediate development releases and on-premises deployment.

      PostgreSQL: PostgreSQL is an open-source database system for object-relational data. PostgreSQL will mainly be used as a database technology, in order to have a homogeneous setup.

      Apache Kafka: Open Source messaging infrastructure Mainly used for private communication among components and entities.

      Data management:

      • Product life-cycle management
      • Web objects for IoT data ingestion

        FIWARE is a reference point concerning available software components.

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Connecting factories from different enterprises Product Product life-cycle stages
Production of product Product use phase

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Semantic/information interoperability Connectivity & network interoperability – communication prot... Cybersecurity Resilience Product Interoperability (ICT) Data/object model interoperability - Data exchange formats -...
Industrial Reference ICT Architectures AAA - Access, Authorisation and Authentication User Acccess and Rights Management Modular Design and Deployment Approaches Open APIs and Communication Protocols Privacy
    Comment: End-to-end security: Data integrity, confidentiality, identity and key management, authentication, fine-grained authorization and access control. Trust and reputation management. Advanced behavioural security (including game theory) Spring Cloud Security: Standardized security mechanisms are implemented using Spring Cloud Security. It provides out-of-the-box integration of security modules to Spring Cloud applications. Authentication and authorization between microservices are realized by using Spring Cloud Security, which supports OAuth2 and OpenID Connect and communicates with the authentication server (i.e. Cloud Foundry UAA).
    Comment: Refrain from proprietary formats; if necessary, build adapters that go both ways (import/export). Platform-independent micro-service architecture (micro-services are designed to be independent of Bluemix stack (but can use it if it’s there)) Standards compliance for product categorisation (eClass), business process specification (UBL), oneM2M for manufacturing interoperation.
      Comment: IIRA is the main reference. IIRA is closest in terms of conceptual design for NIMBLE. RAMI is not so applicable to us because we are closer to Internet B2C or B2B platforms. Industrial Data Space is on our radar, but was not sufficiently elaborated at the time of writing the proposal. See The NIMBLE platform is designed to ingest data stemming from edge devices into the platform. Once data has reached the platform, data are stored for future uses such as offline analytics and auditing. In addition, processing of the data as it flows into the platform can be performed in real-time. Offline analytics complements the real-time view by enabling companies to gain insights from their data leading to more efficient processes. We follow the microservice approach for the NIMBLE architecture. Each microservice offers a specific and narrowly defined functionality that is deployed as an independent service [2]. It puts emphasis on real-time application monitoring, including architectural elements and business relevant metrics, e.g. number of orders per minute [2]. In addition, this approach provides decentralized data management and decentralized data storage decisions based on a polyglot persistence method. Microservices can still be combined with monolithic enterprise applications (monolith’s APIs) built as single units, fostering the federation and collaboration of various independent services in the Cloud. Figure 1 depicts the top-level architecture, which is inspired by the microservice infrastructure presented in [3]. Figure 2 then shows the core business services of the platform in more detail. The Gateway Proxy is the public entry point to the microservice application. All user requests are received via the Gateway Proxy and routed to the appropriate service. The Service Logging aggregates log outputs of each individual microservice and makes them available via a Web interface. The Service Monitoring collects data, which are necessary to monitor failures of services; this is implemented using the Circuit Breaker pattern [4]. The Service Monitoring can be used to monitor remote calls, or in any situation where parts of a system need to be protected from failures in other parts. After the number of erroneous executions exceeds a defined threshold, all future calls are immediately returned with an error without the actual function being executed. The Service Discovery enables registration of microservices, as well as mapping between service identifier and the endpoints of instances (e.g. URL or IP address). The role of the Service Configuration is to provide configuration settings for each service. The service communication is enabled either via REST (i.e. HTTP) or by using the Messaging Service (based on Apache Kafka), which provides asynchronous and scalable communication. Finally, the User Account and Authentication (UAA) & Identity Management administrates user identities on the platform. It combines the three standard protocols: OAuth2 for delegated authorization [5], OpenID Connect for session and authentication information [6], and the System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) for user and group management [7].
    Comment: Resilience is partly addressed through the federation aspects: attackers need to “hack” more than one platform, each with a different security setup, chosen from NIMBLE modules.

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Business ecosystems associated to digital platforms Software ownership Target clients
Interaction with other digital platforms Open source
      Comment: Validate it in 4 use cases (house building, textile, white goods, childcare furniture)
      Comment: Grow it as a real B2B Internet platform for European impact. Enable formation of federated platforms for different regions and/or industrial sectors/markets. Digital collaboration marketplace Big tools available through PaaS modality. Cloud service / app development facilities for software developers. Note: ecosystem includes also the platform provider, 3rd party software as a service, financial services, smart contracts, etc.

        IBM Bluemix / Cloudfoundry is our initial cloud platform. Google, Amazon, Alibaba are reference points concerning de facto product models, catalogues. FIWARE is a reference point concerning available software components.

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    Comment: Relevant standards / data models / ontologies that are identified so far: - Product life-cycle management: O-LM – IoT Product Life-cycle Management (PLM), ONTO-PDM, STEP-PDM - Integration enterprise and control systems: ISA 95, - Supply chain message exchange standards GS1, UBL, OAGIS, GITB, EDI, SCOR - Domain specific ontologies: MODA ML (textile) and furniture ontology - Production annotation ontologies: GoodRelations, - Company representation: GS1 GDSN, Virtual Company Dossier, ebXML Company Collaboration Profile (CPP) - Representation/discovery of things: Web Things Model, Trust Ontology