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i4Q Milestone achieved! Requirements identified and assessed

A suitable requirements elicitation and analysis procedure for i4Q project was developed according to ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148:2018-11, ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017-11 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015-05-15. These standards were used in i4Q as the basis for the requirements elicitation procedure that is aligned to “Stakeholder Needs and Requirements Definition process”. The first activity of product design was to clarify and itemize the problem or task with the result of stakeholder requirements as an information base. To achieve this, interdisciplinary, technical discussions, and requirements templates were performed. The main results are the lists and diagrams of requirements for the six pilot use cases and the 17 i4Q Solutions and 5 guidelines emerging from the project outcomes, as well as their analysis as a basis for the definition of the functional specifications.


Besides, in-depth analysis of all the current business processes for the demonstration scenarios (pilots) were carried out, in order to establish the starting point of the i4Q solutions development and further implementation on the industrial use cases. Detailed specifications for the development of all composing elements of the use cases were collected, establishing the boundaries for the integration of i4Q technologies. Current situation and AS-IS scenarios of the 6 pilots participating in i4Q project were described. Based on the AS-IS scenarios, the top-level problems and improvements associated to the industrial pilots were defined. Then, the TO-BE scenarios were determined of each use case, where companies determined the improvements that are expected in the business processes after the implementation of i4Q solutions. The use cases scenarios were identified for their improvement, and matched with the i4Q solutions.


The above-mentioned procedure was followed in order to customize requirements per pilot and per solution. However, the general requirements that have been identified and apply in all cases and are considered as high priority, are presented in the following Table.



Requirement Title

Requirement definition (related to the i4Q solution)

Digital process transformation

Sensor networks should be established and represent the digitized quality control process. Data analytics and data-driven approaches should support complete digital transformation of process related sensor data.

Traceability of defect

Automatic Traceability of defects should be clear, consistent and continuous virtual labeling of all components and products throughout the value-added process.

Data Acquisition, process, storage and access

Industrial partners should use data acquisition, processing, storage and accessing technologies.

Adaptability of edge computing platform

The development of an edge-computing platform should be addressing a broad set of current and future requirements from industrial and manufacturing use cases. The edge platform is expected to address a wide range of aspects as defined by i4Q. IBM's contributions will address aspects of enabling intelligent data processing at the manufacturing floor by bringing AI/ML to the edge close to where the data is being generated. Having these capabilities at the edge will significantly improve the quality, reliability, and efficiency in manufacturing.

Trust and traceability Blockchain infrastructure

The development of blockchain-based infrastructure should be addressing data trust and traceability in industrial and manufacturing use cases. The blockchain platform is expected to address cornerstone issues of data reliability to enable smart processing by analysis components, as well as establishing trust among partners. Having these capabilities will significantly enhance the quality, reliability, and trust in manufacturing data.

Adaptability of i4Q solutions

The i4Q Solutions should be adapted to a variety of different machine types.

Improve data exchange

Improve the reliability and quality of data exchange in the plant by deploying a new generation of private infrastructure based on 5G networks. These networks should offer a highly scalable and independent architecture that increases traffic capacity and network efficiency compared to 4th generation technologies.

Improvement in communication latency

Improvement in communication latency should be achieved through various techniques and standardized mechanisms, such as Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), aiming to achieve wireless communication and to have a latency similar to wired communications.

Introduce WPAN environment

Integrate the software-defined networking paradigm into a Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) environment with Time Synchronized Channel Hopping (TSCH) MAC. This allows implementing dynamic and fully centralized resource provisioning, increasing flexibility and scalability as well as allowing node mobility while reducing management complexity.

Broad integration of IEE 802.1 TSN

IEEE 802.1 TSN (deterministic wired communication) should be integrated into a wide collection of machines and increase the use of deterministic communication into industry (https://1.ieee802.org/).


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