Digital Sustainable Supply Chain Ecosystem

based on the reference architecture Smart Factory Web

Transforming Manufacturing:
The Sustainable Power of DiSC Ecosystem

With our DiSC Ecosystem, we offer a sustainability-focused supply chain ecosystem that enables the Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) approach and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to mediate manufacturing capabilities between buyers and suppliers. 

DiSC makes it possible to design more efficient, sustainable and resilient supply chains. Production processes can be optimized, product quality improved and delivery times and costs reduced. 

Our solution is specifically designed to meet the needs of the manufacturing industry and offers comprehensive and reliable support in optimizing supply chains.

DiSC Ecosystem architecture


The matchmaking between manufacturing capability demand and offer is one of the key features of DiSC.

For an industry- and domain-agnostic matchmaking of capability demand and offer, an infrastructure like a digital ecosystem is required.

DiSC can serve as a blueprint for the development of digital ecosystems in the MaaS context. Companies that want to act as Ecosystem Operators can use DiSC to access a proven ecosystem that provides the digital infrastructure for MaaS participants and can achieve complete market coverage due to the federated approach.

DiSC and the components are based on the reference architecture Smart Factory Web (link on subpage) of Fraunhofer IOSB. The reference architecture Smart Factory Web is suitable for the development of open, sustainable and resilient production ecosystems.

More Benefits / Technologies:

  • Smart onboarding enables manufacturers and suppliers to successfully offer their services on the market even without in-depth IT expertise
  • Interoperability between DiSC and services of external providers is enabled through the use of modern industry standards such as Asset Administration Shell (AAS) and Semantic Aspect Meta Model (SAMM)
  • Support for future information sources such as Digital Product Passport (DPP) based on standardized technologies (AAS)
  • Possibility of integration into ecosystems such as Catena-X or Factory-X
  • Support of data space technologies such as connectors and identity management
  • New business models are enabled because of the open federation of MaaS brokers and the integration of existing MaaS platforms
  • Cross-domain access to markets in which the manufacturers were not previously active
  • Enables the future comparability of sustainability information from heterogeneous sources across the entire supply chain with the help of Sustainability AI

Component descriptions

Smart Onboarding

Registration of manufacturer information such as machines, production capabilities, process descriptions, manufactured products, etc. Registration can be carried out directly by the manufacturers or indirectly via manufacturer networks such as MaaS platforms.

Search Engine 

Search engine for matching demand and offer. For this purpose, the registered manufacturer information is searched using dynamic, semantic-based queries to find manufacturers that can cover the requested processes and capabilities. This search is not limited to individual manufacturers, but also covers partial supply chains.

Semantic Integration

AI-based semantic linking and enrichment of the registered information. For example, terms such as band_sawing and sawing are linked to each other with reference to specific materials, but also to specific machines. This is the only way to enable a deep cross-domain search of manufacturer information and the acceptance of non-standardized terms.

Supply Chain Information Management

Management of supply chain information with the help of Digital Product Passports (DPP), which are hosted in a distributed manner by the respective manufacturers.


Management of the information registered by Smart Onboarding in the knowledge bases.


Graph-based databases containing the linked, registered information on manufacturers/suppliers.

Collaborative science-based AI for linking, integrating and providing sustainability information on companies and products (certificates, Product Carbon Footprint (PCF), Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF), conflict minerals, etc.) obtained from heterogeneous, cross-sector information sources.

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Use Cases

Supply Chain Information Management Use Case
Companies struggle to manage product data, especially for complex items like robots, crucial for ESG and PCF. The DiSC ecosystem integrates manufacturing with sustainability data through Sustainability AI, facilitating cross-supply chain comparison. It supports digital product passports like Asset Administration Shell, crucial for future needs.

SupplyWize by Fraunhofer IOSB administers supply chains via DPPs, enabling detailed product descriptions and dynamic data like PCF, all managed within the Smart Factory Web’s Supplier Knowledge Base.

Partner company: KETI
MaaS Use Case
The Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) model simplifies access to distributed manufacturing platforms like On-Demand Manufacturing (ODM) marketplaces through DiSC. Manufacturers register once with DiSC, which acts as a federated knowledge base, streamlining their visibility across platforms. MaaS in Catena-X focuses on matching manufacturing demand with offerings, including factory knowledge and capabilities. Buyers can search for specific manufacturing capabilities, including individual steps or full production offers. ODM platforms often act as manufacturers, while marketplaces connect buyers with multiple manufacturers.
Additional services like feasibility analysis and cost optimization are offered. Catena-X integrates marketplaces and ODM platforms, forming a network of networks for enhanced monetization and value. This centralized approach offers a single-entry point to the interconnected manufacturing ecosystem.
Asset Management Use Case
Manufacturers can't register separately with all distributed manufacturing platforms (e.g. On-Demand Manufacturing platforms (ODM)) with their production capabilities, as they often lack the IT resources and capacities to do so. With the help of DiSC, manufacturers can be found throughout the entire ecosystem. This is particularly important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which can lead to an expansion of the target group and customer base. Smart onboarding enables manufacturers and suppliers to successfully offer their services on the market even without in-depth IT expertise. Unlike comparable solutions, no predefined terms or classifications such as capability descriptions are required when registering new suppliers. Instead, DiSC processes existing information from the manufacturer's ERP systems or machine descriptions using AI processes, derives comparable information and links it. As the matchmaking of supply and demand is based on capabilities, cross-domain access to markets in which manufacturers were not previously active is made possible.
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Stakeholder and Benefits

Platform Operator

Product Design

Product designers can consider supply chains and associated restrictions during the design process and adapt the design to make the product more sustainable and optimize the supply chain in terms of sustainability, resilience and availability. By considering sustainability aspects in product design, companies can design their products according to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria and thus increase the competitiveness of their products.

Matchmaking Platforms

Matchmaking platforms can identify suitable manufacturers and suppliers on the basis of production descriptions. With the help of DiSC, matchmaking platforms can identify suitable (sub)supply chains for a production process description. Matchmaking platforms do not have to acquire or onboard suppliers themselves, but can build on the logic of DiSC.

Supply Chain Management / Procurement Management

DiSC enables access to a large number of suppliers in order to identify alternative (sub)supply chains and optimize supply chains. In addition, DiSC can react quickly to supply chain disruptions by identifying new suppliers for the required (sub)product. Information management is based on Digital Product Passports (DPP), which make it easier to identify risks in the supply chain such as conflict minerals or missing certifications.

Supplier / Manufacturer

Many manufacturers describe their services on the market mainly on a product-based level and do not disclose information about their manufacturing capabilities. DiSC offers capability-based company descriptions to cover existing needs and open up new markets. Based on these capability descriptions, manufacturers can also be identified for suitable, previously non-domain-specific production orders. In addition, DiSC offers AI-based onboarding of supplier/manufacturer information and access to sustainability data. With these features, manufacturers can better showcase their manufacturing capabilities, opening up new business opportunities. DiSC enables manufacturers to present their services in a new way to stand out from the competition and attract new customers.


DiSC helps to find suitable manufacturers for a required (sub-) product or for a required production process. The capability-based matchmaking system also identifies manufacturers who have not previously produced the product in question and would not apply for it, but could do so due to their capabilities. This gives the buyer access to completely new potential manufacturers. In addition, buyers can access automatic distribution proposals for the process they are looking for. The advantages here are transparent supply chains and the ability to select a supply chain according to specific framework conditions, compliance regulations and certifications. xx thus offers an effective solution to the challenges of distributed manufacturing.

Digital Service Provider

Service providers can offer their applications (like process derivation services, instant quoting, feasibility checks) across domains and thus monetize their expertise more broadly. Benefits are the access to a new group of customers looking for these specialized services. This allows service providers to expand their offering and tap into new revenue streams.

Ecosystem Operator

Ecosystem operators can access a proven ecosystem that provides the digital infrastructure for the Maas participants and achieves full market coverage through the federated approach. DiSC enables the provision of services for all market participants and thus a variety of business models.