Objective: Setting a European Standard
Implico today announced that members of the IFLEXX community met for their fifth community workshop last week. The event was hosted by Bayernoil at its Vohburg refinery. Together with Holborn, the refinery company was one of the first users of IFLEXX (International FiLe EXchange XML) – the successor to MPKS (the oil partner communication system), which is now over 30 years old. One topic for the workshop was using IFLEXX in everyday operations.
Bayernoil shared its experience of completing a technical rollout of the new data exchange format within the company and reported on its day-to-day usage. Apart from Implico's OpenTAS, TAS systems from a number of other manufacturers also support the transfer of load data via the open IFLEXX standard. Several carrier and accounting systems are also now capable of receiving IFLEXX data.
One key topic was the standardization of a number of IFLEXX fields, e.g. the use of a uniform code for truck tractor, trailer and semitrailer, which was standardized for international usage. Other topics included the inclusion of the ARC code within the scope of EMCS (Excise Movement and Control System), the preparation of an IFLEXX website and the development of a logo.
Use of the independent IFLEXX standard is increasing at sites within Germany. Apart from Bayernoil's two refineries, the IFLEXX standard is in use at the Holborn refinery (Hamburg), the ConocoPhillips-owned refinery at Wilhelmshaven and the Petroplus refinery at Ingolstadt. A number of BP, TanQuid and joint venture terminals also work with the standard. The community's initial aim is to establish IFLEXX in Germany, thus replacing MPKS. The next step will be to expand into Austria and Switzerland. With Austria's OMV Group attending last week's workshop, at least one Austrian oil company is now showing an interest in the new data exchange format. The plan is to roll out IFLEXX as a European standard within five years.
Data exchange via IFLEXX offers many benefits to the oil industry: Large volumes of data can not only be transferred but also standardized. IFLEXX also enables the bidirectional transfer of load data - to the truck's on-board computer and also to the accounting systems run by the oil companies. Last but not least, IFLEXX is XML-based, and this format of data representation is now a global standard.
All in all, the IFLEXX Community in Germany now comprises twelve companies: ConocoPhillips, Deutsche BP, Eni Deutschland (formerly Agip), Holborn, Implico, Marquard & Bahls, OMV Deutschland, Petroplus, Shell, TanQuid, Total and VTA. Guests at last week's event included not only Tamoil but also representatives of LomoSoft, who presented a report from an IFLEXX rollout in the field.
For over two years, Implico has been coordinating and chairing the group of oil companies who are developing and promoting IFLEXX. The international consulting firm will continue to gather proposals and requirements for the new format in order to discuss these with stakeholders and implement them accordingly.
For more information about the IFLEXX Community, contact Alexa Marcks, Implico GmbH, Phone: 040 / 27 09 36 - 0.