Future directions

New White Papers highlight technology trends and industry needs

By Janice Blondeau

Two new IEC White Papers have recently been published, covering Industry 4.0 and strategic asset management of power networks.

power lines
Asset management remains the number one challenge for most network businesses worldwide.

In the IEC Market Strategy Board (MSB), CTOs of major global technology companies meet every year to identify and discuss important technology trends and industry needs for the coming 10 to 15 years.

The White Papers summarize the MSB recommendations regarding these technology trends to the IEC community and also to regulators, governments and academia. They are developed by the MSB together with renowned research organizations.

White Paper: Factory of the future

What will manufacturing look like in the future? How will humans and machines communicate with each other? Will the work environment adapt to future needs?

Nimble, adaptive and intelligent manufacturing processes will be the measurement of success. Manufacturers will need to invest in both digital technologies and highly skilled technical talent to fully benefit from the factory of the future.

Unprecedented integration

To keep up with the rapid pace of advancing technology, manufacturers will need to invest in both digital technologies and highly skilled technical talent.

The ultimate goal of the factory of the future is to interconnect every step of the manufacturing process. Factories are organizing unprecedented technical systems integration across domains, hierarchy, geographic boundaries, value chains and life cycle phases. This integration will only be a success if the technology is supported by global consensus-based International Standards.

The White Paper Factory of the future was developed by the IEC MSB in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA.

This White Paper assesses the potential global needs, benefits, concepts and pre-conditions for the factory of the future. It identifies the business trends in related technologies and markets and their impact on data, people, technologies and Standards.

It is available for download here.

White Paper: Strategic asset management of power networks

The electrical power network sector is undergoing a period of profound change, and asset management remains the number one challenge for most network businesses around the world.

There are very few International Standards that define a common language and metrics or provide examples of best practice to guide network businesses and their broader stakeholders worldwide on strategic assest management electricity networks.

This current lack of International Standards or guidelines on asset management for electrical networks will have a significant impact on the reliability and future viability of the electricity sector.

Best practice 

The White Paper Strategic asset management of power networks explores the issue of asset management in the electricity power network sector and identifies areas of practice that could benefit from International Standards.

The White Paper was prepared by the IEC MSB project team on strategic asset management of power networks with support from N.OGEE Consultants, after extensive industry consultation. The project team included representatives from electrical power network businesses, research institutes and equipment vendors from around the world.

Broad consultation

The project team held three international workshops (Tokyo, Washington and Paris) which were attended by electricity network businesses, equipment manufacturers, research institutions and other standards organizations. They shared their current approach on asset management and provided insights on areas where Standards or guides for electricity network asset management could benefit their business.

In addition, the IEC project team ran two international surveys as part of this project. One survey asked electricity network companies worldwide for data on their existing asset base and the other survey sought information on how these companies currently approach asset management.

The White Paper Strategic asset management of power networks is available for download here.

The IEC MSB

The IEC Market Strategy Board brings together the CTOs of leading international organizations,. The MSB sets strategies to maximize input from industry and identifies priorities for the technical and conformity assessment work of the IEC, helping to improve the Commission's response to the needs of innovative and fast-moving markets.

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power lines Asset management remains the number one challenge for most network businesses worldwide
IEC White Paper Factory of the future The White Paper Factory of the future was developed by the IEC MSB in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA
IEC White Paper Strategic asset management of power networks The White Paper Strategic asset management of power networks identifies areas of practice that could benefit from International Standards