Collaboration and Interoperability within a Virtual Enterprise Applied in a Mobile Maintenance Scenario

Collaboration and Interoperability within a Virtual Enterprise Applied in a Mobile Maintenance Scenario

Tobias Münch (SAP AG, Germany), Jan Hladik (SAP AG, Germany), Angelika Salmen (SAP AG, Germany), Werner Altmann (Kölsch and Altmann Software and Management Consulting GmbH, Germany), Robert Buchmann (University of Vienna, Austria), Dimitris Karagiannis (University of Vienna, Austria), Jens Ziegler (TU Dresden, Germany), Johannes Pfeffer (TU Dresden, Germany), Leon Urbas (TU Dresden, Germany), Oscar Lazaro (Innovalia Association, Spain), Patricia Ortiz (Innovalia Association, Spain), Oscar Lopez (Nextel S. A., Spain), Etxahun Sanchez (Nextel S. A., Spain) and Frank Haferkorn (RST Industrie Automation GmbH, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5142-5.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter presents an infrastructure approach for virtual enterprises developed by the consortium of the European research project ComVantage and discusses its impact with respect to the mobile maintenance domain. The approach focuses on the core aspects of interoperability, which are data interoperability and process interoperability. Regarding the interorganisational access to enterprise data, the authors propose a semantic abstraction layer that is completely decentralised and therefore meets the key requirement of virtuality. The execution of business processes and workflows across organisational boundaries are addressed by the unique App Orchestration Concept.
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Challenges For A Virtual Enterprise In A Mobile Maintenance Scenario

In the following section a representative use case is outlined including a description of pain points, an explanation of an application scenario, a list of aggregated high-level requirements connected with this scenario and finally a description of improvements provided by the application of our prototype.

Mobile Maintenance is a term used for performing maintenance of embedded systems (machines) remotely by using Internet technologies. Today, mobile maintenance is characterised by a couple of pain points. First, a very heterogeneous environment of different machine types and interfaces causes high training costs for service staffs. Second, the current on-site processes related to mobile maintenance are very ineffective. The main cause is an error-prone communication between the client and the maintenance service provider which is currently not well supported by a proper tooling. This often results in improper and imprecise error descriptions and leads later to a wrong pre-selection of spare parts. Regarding the high resource investment in terms of time and money of travelling engineers with high specialisation, unnecessary maintenance operations should be avoided.

As response to the listed pain points and under consideration of the capabilities of a collaboration platform for virtual enterprises using active machines, a comprehensive requirements and scenario analysis has been conducted within ComVantage. Figure 1 visualizes a scenario that describes the application of our prototype in the mobile maintenance domain. The scenario involves three different stakeholders: the manufacturer that produces the machine, the customer that purchases and runs the machine and finally a maintenance service provider.

Figure 1.

Interorganisational collaboration within a virtual enterprise in a mobile maintenance scenario

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