The use of Industry 4.0 technologies in production often requires extensive networking of different production facilities with each other or to remote production facilities. Furthermore applications for process control or data analysis that run in the cloud are integrated. Information Technology and Operational Technology continue to merge. Therefore, on the one hand, all involved components require a higher degree of data consistency and flexibility; on the other hand, previous requirements like latency, real-time, and security must continuously be met. Only in this way the advantages of Industry 4.0, such as more flexible production processes, better machine utilization or the use of data analytics algorithms for preventive maintenance or process optimization, can be exploited. The transition to Industry 4.0 will be step-by-step in many of the existing facilities, so appropriate retrofitting measures and components are required.
In order to be able to implement these requirements in your production environment, Fraunhofer IIS offers a secure Edge Computing software platform for Industry 4.0. It has already been implemented on various industrial edge controllers. The platform allows straightforward integration of a wide range of communication protocols for industry and building automation, including common internet protocols, to communicate with the cloud. The added value to gateway solutions is the intelligent linking and processing capabilities for data. Thus, the connection of one or more OPC-UA servers allows the fast acquisition of all relevant data within a production environment or plant. The coupling with a software PLC running on the edge controller is possible and facilitates the implementation of individual real-time applications for machine control, which require an increased demand for data exchange e.g. with the cloud. The platform can be expanded and adapted flexibly with new standards and devices at any time.
The technological core is an integrated runtime environment for local apps that offer the highest level of flexibility. Applications such as condition monitoring, visualization and control of processes, but also energy and load management can be programmed in as local apps. These have standardized interfaces and can be operated without modification on various edge controllers and also in the cloud. Specially created or already existing apps in a library can be installed during operation, if necessary via an own app store. The integrated security concept provides configurable access to local assets.
Security is very important to us. Our platform includes a multi-level security concept. Depending on your needs, you can choose from three security levels. The definition of roles and the individual assignment of access rights and usage rights are intuitive.
Unique selling points for Industry 4.0:
- Secure: Multi-level security concept
- Flexible and interoperable: Understands all common communication standards
- Expandable and customizable
- Own individual apps are easily created
Further information can be found at www.iis.fraunhofer.de/ogema