Arrowhead Tools


The Arrowhead Tools project aims for digitalisation and automation solutions for the European industry, which will close the gaps that hinder the IT/OT integration by introducing new technologies in an open-source platform for the design and run-time engineering of IoT and System of Systems. It is an EU project under ECESL Joint Undertaking.

Grand Challenges:

To create digitalisation and automation solutions, Arrowhead Tools addresses engineering methodologies and suitable integrated tool chains with the global aim of substantially reducing the engineering costs for digitalisation/automation solutions.


  • Consolidating and TRL 7 mature platform for interoperability and SoS integration: Arrowhead Framework
  • Engineering tool chain integration architecture and reference implementation
  • Engineering procedure and supportive tools and tool chains

Validation and verification of such engineering procedure, tools and integrated tool chains in 23 commercially driven use cases covering applications in production, health, infrastructure, smart home and buildings, mobility and energy.

The innovation strategy is expected to deliver the following technology innovations, which can be brought to the market and will support a wider exploitation of digitalization solutions:

  • Open-source integration platform for design and run-time IoT and System of Systems engineering, enabling automation solutions with real time, security, scalability, engineering simplicity and evolution requirements
  • Engineering procedure for the design and run-time IoT and System of Systems automation solutions, proposed for standardization
  • Engineering tools and tool chain integration supporting efficient engineering of IoT and System of Systems solutions
  • Training software and hardware for efficient IoT and System of Systems engineering.

Role of interoperability in this project:

Arrowhead: Creating protocol and data interoperability between IoTs and legacy automation software and systems.

Arrowhead Tools: Interoperability between engineering software tools.

This is an industry-driven Innovation project targeting interoperability technology possible to standardize.

Interoperability definition:

The main objective is creating seamless and autonomous interoperability between devices and software systems enabling instant understanding of transferred data/information. Arrowhead Tools mainly focus on protocols and data interoperability.

What problems is it trying to solve in terms of interoperability?

Reducing engineering time for system development and implementation by creating an integration platform capable of handling interoperability, security and training in parallel (p25 ECS-SRA “obstacles”).

 Mine cycle stage:

The project is developing generic industrial technology with testing and validation cases at for example Boliden Mines in Sweden focusing on efficient and secure data sharing with external suppliers in the mining values. It’s worth noticing that the problem statement for mining industry is very similar to challenges found in other industries such as automotive, chemical, semiconductor, heavy manufacturing, buildings, etc. Large possibility for collaboration and knowledge exchange with other sectors.

Type of mining:

Use cases have primarily been focusing on underground mining applications.

 Business area:

Business areas include applications in Mining such as:
– Sensor system and data aggregation, intelligent Rock Bolts Manufactured and Implemented by company ThingWave
– MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) successfully developed and has been integrated to legacy using Arrowhead architecture by company BNearIT
– Automation engineering, interoperability between different engineering tools (used for requirements, functional design, procurement, and engineering & deployment and commissioning) by autonomously translating data/information, implemented by companies MSI & Midroc.

Applicability to Mining:

The technology developed is generic but has been specifically tested and evaluated at different industries including mining. Automation solutions in continuous processes with closed-loop control have a high degree of similarity on a principal level, i.e., process based on DCS rather than SCADA.


Arrowhead Tools have 80 partners from across Europe including end-users from process and manufacturing industries, Automation Integrators, Automation System Suppliers, Component suppliers.

Accessibility model: primarily open source

Learn more here:

Timeline: Project ends July 2022.