TÜV Rheinland's Industrial Services Enabling Innovation in Taiwan
Interview with James Liu, General Manager, Industrial Services & Cybersecurity, TÜV Rheinland Taiwan Ltd.
About 11 years ago, TÜV Rheinland underwent a global restructuring of its operations. Can you give us an update on TÜV's business globally and here in Taiwan?
TÜV Rheinland has restructured several times in recent years in line with customer needs. We are currently organised globally along the following business lines: Industrial Services & Cybersecurity, Mobility, Products, Academy & Life Care, and Systems. We currently have over 21,000 employees globally, of which over 12,000 are outside Germany. In 2019, TÜV Rheinland maintained growth thanks to new and developing businesses, such as digitalisation.
What is TÜV Rheinland’s involvement in offshore wind in Taiwan?
With our team of dedicated experts and capability, TÜV Rheinland can ensure the reliability and availability of wind energy assets against uncertain site conditions at every stage of development, from the planning to final decommissioning stage. We also provide services to cultivate local competence and talent.
TÜV Rheinland’s German head office is spearheading the company's participation in wpd’s Yunlin Offshore Wind Project. The multinational team, drawn from Germany, Japan, and South Korea, and the Taiwan team were involved in every phase of the project from the pre-production inspection of suppliers to field supervision of substation construction and acceptance inspection for heavy electrical equipment. They provided quality assurance during construction of the underwater foundations, wind turbines, tower frames, undersea cables, power cables, and substations. This successful project has demonstrated our capability in providing quality assurance for every phase of offshore wind energy projects.
What are the main difficulties facing Taiwanese companies in the local wind power supply chain, and how is TÜV helping companies overcome these difficulties?
Most of the vendors in Taiwan’s local wind power supply chain have a background in steel structures and pressure vessels, so many of them were not familiar with customer requirements for offshore wind power, or as to how European standards should be applied. Most overseas wind power manufacturers have now standardised their manufacturing processes and installation sequences, but Taiwanese vendors will need more time and experience to improve their manufacturing quality and efficiency.
We have noticed that some local companies are capturing more growth opportunities to become part of green supply chains. Our local experts provide certification/qualification services to help manufacturers get an entrance ticket into the offshore wind industry. More than 20 Taiwanese manufacturers are now involved in the manufacturing of underwater foundations for wind power, obtaining TÜV Rheinland’s EN 1090 and ISO 3834 certification to meet the requirements of wind power developers.
What is TÜV’s involvement in training talent for the wind power sector?
The offshore wind talent gap is increasing. All steel structures manufactured in Taiwan have to be inspected by non-destructive testing (NDT) personnel qualified according to the ISO 9712 standard. Before our involvement, local talent had very few chances to meet the international standards and be certified locally. In 2017, we introduced our ISO 9712 NDT-personnel certification programme from Germany to Taiwan to address the concerns of wind power developers over acute shortages of wind power industry talent. The cultivation of ISO 9712 NDT-personnel not only meets the developers’ requirements, but also helps to enhance industry competence.
Another area we are involved in is to enhance offshore wind energy employees’ safety awareness and practical skills. We do this by certifying local training centres to provide certified training in line with the Global Wind Organisation’s (GWO) standard to protect life and property for frontline workers and enhance the industry’s competitiveness.
What are some of your other new developments?
In recent years, with the advances in electronics and the advent of the Internet of Things, the automotive industry is being restructured, and moving step by step towards the CASE technology trends. The so-called “CASE” means “Connected” (the Internet of Vehicles), “Autonomous” (automatic driving), “Shared,” and “Electric” mobility. The design and manufacture of automobiles has developed from the traditional mechanical products to the integration of electronics, software, and intelligent terminals. Most of the innovation in the automotive industry now comes from automotive electronics.
We have observed two important concept developments for the automotive industry: functional safety and cybersecurity. The traditional automotive industry and emerging new technologies continue to integrate, which will bring consumers more convenience and diversity, and an environmentally-friendly driving experience.
Why are TÜV Rheinland's functional safety and cybersecurity services important for concepts such as the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), autonomous vehicles, and smart road transportation systems?
This relates to the fact that we now have more complex electrical and programmable electronic systems applied to safety control systems. Any new technology such as the Internet of Vehicles, self-driving vehicles, and intelligent road transport systems will give rise to new risks. Suppliers of car electronic systems, parts and assemblies, ICs, as well as software and hardware components are increasingly realising the importance of functional safety. Any failure will compromise the safety of people and the environment.
A total approach to functional safety design should incorporate process management, concept design, system development, software/hardware development, testing, and production right from the start of the R&D process. Assurance of safety functionality means greater customer trust due to increased reliability and better mitigation of safety hazards.
TÜV Rheinland is the only certifying body to have participated in the development of functional safety standards, due to its extensive experience as well as its ability to provide professional evaluation and advice. In addition to the automotive industry, TÜV Rheinland can assist vendors in other industries (such as nuclear energy, aerospace, industrial control, and home appliances) that have strict safety requirements in specific environments and applications, and can establish functional safety management systems tailored to their risk control needs.
On another front, cybersecurity attacks are increasing, causing significant risks. As vehicles become connected, the vehicles and transport infrastructure are new candidates for cyberattacks. As requested by some large automotive manufacturers, a common assessment and exchange mechanism has been developed, which is called TISAX. In 2020 a long-awaited ISO 21434 standard will be published, which will provide automotive guidance on how to consider cybersecurity over the entire product development and product lifecycle for the automotive industry. There is no single industry standard to address this, but we provide one-stop technical service solutions to meet the requirements of customers.
The two concepts of cybersecurity and functional security are often mentioned together. There are some overlaps between the two services, but their emphasis is different. Functional safety is pursued in order to prevent failures caused by internal factors in a system and ensure its own safety, so as to realize the safe operation of the system. Cybersecurity is mainly about how to deal with external attacks, and the ability of the system to resist certain forms of unintentional or intentional attacks.
The emergence of the digital economy and Internet of Things (IoT) has given rise to even more IoT cybersecurity threats, such as hacking of IP cameras. What is TÜV doing to address this problem?
In response to the cybersecurity requirements of IoT product vendors, the Product Safety Testing Laboratory at TÜV Rheinland Taiwan was recently certified by the Taiwan Accreditation Foundation (TAF), and qualified by the Taiwan Association of Information and Communication Standards (TAICS). TÜV Rheinland Taiwan can now provide Level 1 testing and certification for IP cameras based on CNS 16120 (Taiwan), and testing based on the standards ETSI TS 103 645 (European) and CA SB 327 (US). IP camera vendors can now open up even more markets by applying for compliance with the product cybersecurity requirements in Taiwan, the European Union, and California (US), simultaneously.
Our cybersecurity solutions aim to combine security and data protection, including cybersecurity tests, industrial security tests, and data protection tests on the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud infrastructures, among others. We can determine the cybersecurity maturity of systems, identify industrial cybersecurity risks, and help customers meet GDPR requirements.
James WC Liu joined TÜV Rheinland Taiwan in 2006, and currently serves as General Manager of the Industrial Services and Cybersecurity Division. Prior to his current role, he served in various management roles for the TÜV Rheinland Greater China region. He is also an IRCA certified QMS lead auditor, authorized auditor of API Monogram/APIQR of the American Petroleum Institute, authorized inspector of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (USA), and lead auditor/inspector of Notified Body for the European Directives PED/TPED/CPR.