GPQI participates in the Industrial Transformation Mexico Fair 2022
The ITM, a Hannover Messe event, has become since its first edition in 2019 the most important fair on technology and Industrie 4.0 in Latin America. The ITM provides a platform where the private and public sectors can present and discuss topics ranging from digital transformation and smart manufacturing to automation and sustainable innovation.
During this year’s fair on 6 and 7 October, the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI) facilitated panel discussions. Industry stakeholders and standardisation bodies deliberated on the importance of internationally harmonised standards in Industrie 4.0, circular economy and electromobility. These are all core topics addressed in the German-Mexican Dialogue on Quality Infrastructure (QI).
Global Production Language for the Mexican industry of the future
On 6 October Heiko Herden, German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau - VDMA), Michael Clark, OPC Foundation North America, and Gerardo Pérez Lechuga, Siemens Mexico, participated in a panel discussion on Global Production Language (GPL).
Throughout the discussion, the panellists emphasised the importance of the Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) standard (IEC 62541) for Industrie 4.0. This standard enables machine interoperability. A key message from all participants was that OPC UA is not limited to large international companies. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can implement International standards such as OPC UA and the related Companion Specifications. Thus, they have much to gain in competitiveness and integration in global value chains.
The role of international standards in the circular economy
On 06 October, experts exchanged perspectives on the status of the circular economy in Mexico. They emphasised the central role that internationally harmonised standards play in supporting the development of circular global value chains.
Juan Carlos Flores of the standards and certification body (Normalización y Certificación - NYCE) stated that Mexico currently is at an initial phase. Circular economy-related standards are more and more available to businesses. This statement coincides with that of Edgar Ruvalcaba (Volkswagen Mexico) and Marisol López (Covestro Mexico). Both informed that most of their companies’ circular models are applied in Europe. However, some cases can already be found locally. Volkswagen’s Zero Impact Factory strategy aims to review waste management and energy efficiency from a holistic perspective. TÜV Rheinland’s Zero Waste to Landfill Management system certificate enables a reduction in waste generation by optimising resource use along supply chains. From recycled plastics to biofuels, López underlined the critical role that chemical industries play in the circular economy. This is due to its technical capacity and infrastructure required to process waste into inputs.
The panellists agreed that international standards can serve as a guideline in providing good practices and lessons learned for local applications. Alignment with international standards not only contributes to reducing technical barriers. It also facilitates the integration to (and establishment of) supply chains. Panel participants stated this is even more important in the circular economy: synergies between sectors and along supply chains are key to achieving the change management needed to reduce waste generation.
The panellists consented the most pressing matters to be addressed by standards. These include the efficient use of resources, digital traceability tools and the need for standardised sustainability indicators to support companies’ long-term strategies. Juan Carlos Rivera, General Bureau of Technical Regulations and Standards (Dirección General de Normas – DGN) of the Mexican Ministry of Economy mentioned Mexico’s participation in the ISO Technical Committee 323 for circular economy. He further explained the ongoing elaboration of a technical regulation for electric and electronic equipment, as well as batteries for electric vehicles.
Towards a safe and interoperable electromobility
During the electromobility panel on 07 October, Rivera, alongside Alejandro Saniger (Bosch), highlighted electromobility as a key part of economic and environmental agendas. The German-Mexican QI Dialogue is currently addressing the international harmonisation of the QI framework in electromobility. It supports Mexico’s transition to electromobility to maintain the competitiveness at a global level.
Luis Iván Hernández, Association for Standardisation and Certification (Asociación de Normalización y Certificación A.C. – ANCE), Omar Martinez, Mexican National Auto Parts Industry Association (Industria Nacional de Autopartes – INA), René Chávez (Volkswagen Truck & Bus Mexico) and Alberto de Icaza (ZF Group) explained how an internationally harmonised QI framework contributes to ensuring the safety and interoperability of electric mobility. They also presented the needs for QI, for a functioning infrastructure, supply chains and staff qualifications. All must be addressed to boost the development of electromobility.
Within GPQI, stakeholders from the industry, the public sector and QI institutions from Germany and Mexico will continue to cooperate on Industrie 4.0, the circular economy and electromobility.
If you would like to engage in the German-Mexican Dialogue on Quality Infrastructure, please contact us.