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Digital Certificates

In a digitalised quality infrastructure, certificates such as calibration certificates or type examination certificates are provided digitally and transferred seamlessly along the product life cycle. The digital data formats enable optimisation of the data flow and access to data. Using the QI-Digital pilot projects Additive Manufacturing and Reliable Hydrogen Refuelling Station, we are developing and testing prototypes.

An already well-developed use case is calibration. According to ISO/IEC 17025, the calibration certificate is the main means of communication in the calibration hierarchy or in quality infrastructure. In the course of the digital transformation, this is being adapted to a digital calibration certificate (DCC), which contains the calibration information in a machine-understandable structure and can be secured with a digital seal. In this way, this information can be read out directly in digital systems and used further in an automated way. PTB started developing an XML schema for a DCC several years ago. This is now available in a stable version. 

Based on the experience gained from the DCC project, PTB is developing a digital, machine-readable certificate for conformity assessment (Digital Certificate of Conformity, D-CoC), initially for conformity assessments according to ISO/IEC 17065 in legal metrology (D-CoC M) as well as in the legally regulated area of explosion protection (D-CoC Ex). Here, administrative information and data confirmed in tests are brought together and can be used as a digital certificate in further QI processes such as the declaration of conformity or market surveillance. One possible use is the retrieval of certificate data in the field using a smartphone and the QI-Cloud.