Merck KGaA, a science and technology company and Siemens have announced a plan to develop and implement solutions to improve the levels of digital trust in machine-to-machine connected industrial value chains. The solutions are aimed at helping industrial customers to comply with stricter regulations in the value chain in different countries and enable “disruptive” business models in a variety of industrial sectors, ranging from the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and electronics industries to the automotive industry.

The companies state that to drive forward Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which is transforming value chains and manufacturing across many industries, there is a “pressing need for effective and secure data and information exchange”. Yet, they believe within the current IIoT context, there is a “lack of M2M communication regarding the quality status” of many products.

“We have been guardians of quality for centuries and now, we aim to transfer this value proposition to the digital machine-to-machine connected world”, said Laura Matz, Chief Science and Technology Officer of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Our collaboration with Siemens has clear potential to disrupt quality control and assurance operations across all kinds of industries. Enabled by an unprecedented level of digital trust, certified machine-to-machine cyber-physical communication will not only boost quality, transparency and traceability of products along value chains but will also enable new business models”.

The targeted solution would provide all parties involved in the value chain with an immediate single-source-of-truth access point to trusted data and enable new levels of traceability, transparency, safety, and quality of industrial products. This could eventually allow customers to generate disruptive business models such as pay-per-part or pay-per-performance, which would be driven by machines in the IIoT.
Siemens Merck KGaA

Merck KGaA and Siemens plan to develop and implement solutions that offer “unprecedented levels” of digital trust in machine-to-machine connected industrial value chains. Image: Siemens.

Cutting-edge technologies such as smart contracts, tokens, blockchain, and industrial edge computing can anchor physical objects to a digital identity and thus ensure transparency and authenticity of information and physical objects. This promotes originality and helps prevent the creation of counterfeit products.

“Value chains and product lifecycles must become more transparent and sustainable. That is why together with our partner we will develop a completely new digital solution that enables “trustworthy” communication between machines, for example, for the exchange of production data and laboratory data. Our customers will be able to produce more efficiently while ensuring sustainability and quality of their products in a wide range of areas – from personalized medicine to food and beverages to high-tech electronics”, said Cedrik Neike, Managing Board Member of Siemens AG and CEO of Digital Industries.

Within the scope of the collaboration, Siemens plans to build an object-centric IIoT data ecosystem in which objects can communicate by sharing data within a trusted environment. Both companies also plan to combine the crypto anchor technology portfolio of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, with Siemens’ trusted traceability system (an end-to-end genealogy system for products) to make them interoperable based on blockchain technology.

The solution is planned to be scalable across the entire value chain. Stakeholders are to have access to all data across the entire lifecycle of a product – from product design to use by the end consumer.

You can find more information about the collaboration between Siemens and Merck KGaA on the companies respective websites.
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