The Industrial Internet of Things
Industry Business Network 4.0 Presents New Industry Standard
IF4.0 is to become the new industry standard for cross-manufacturer information exchange in Smart Factories. The standard has been developed by the Industry Business Network 4.0 e. V. and will be continuously updated by the association's members.
At the specialist congress "Manufacturing 4.0 — Concrete solutions with added value for SMEs", the Industry Business Network 4.0 association, which includes Microstep, presented the manufacturer-independent solution for medium-sized companies to the public for the first time. “The concept of a Smart Factory is becoming increasingly attractive for small and medium-sized companies. This is due to the standardized exchange of information between different machines and systems with IF4.0," says Igor Mikulina, CEO of Industry Business Network 4.0 e. V., describing the advantages.
The association was founded in 2016 at the Manufacturing 4.0 Congress and has been intensively promoting the project of developing the IF4.0 industry standard since then. In comparison to many existing solutions, which focus on using all available data e. g. in the cloud, the idea of the manufacturer-independent IF4.0 standard is to directly transform the machine data into relevant information by means of adequate methods and to make it available to the Smart Factory in a standardized form, the association claims. Konstantin Kernschmidt, Project Manager Industry 4.0 explains: "Our development approach is always oriented towards customer benefits. For the operator of a medium-sized production facility, networking must bring real added value. If he is for instance asking for the condition of his machine, this information can be generated from different data sources, depending on the type of machine/plant".
Important Basis for Safety and Security
The IF4.0 standard defines the data and methods from which the relevant information for individual categories of plants, devices and components can be deduced. A big advantage for manufacturers is the fact that they do not have to disclose all the data of their systems, which often contain technological know-how, announces the association. The IF4.0 standard also facilitates the verification of networking and information exchange compared to uncontrolled data exchange and therefore contributes a great deal to safety and security. The technical services provider Tüv Süd is a member of the Industry Business Network 4.0 association. "Only with a coherent security concept, transparent use of data and independence from a certain provider, Industry 4.0 will be successfully implemented in MEOs," says Dr.-Ing. Detlev Richter, Vice President of Tüv Süd Product Service.
Implementation of the IF4.0 Standard in Reference Plants
The next step in the development of the IF4.0 standard will be to implement this standard in the association's reference plants and in the first products. “During the implementation of this technology, we build on existing standards such as OPC UA, but we always keep the needs of medium-sized businesses in mind. By introducing this standard, we will continue to improve IF4.0 and add more categories to it," explains Kernschmidt. In addition to machines and systems, gas, compressed air or energy supplies can also contribute by providing important information. Applications that offer additional added value to the user can also be connected via a standardized interface and collect the information from the various systems of the so called Smart Factory.
“In the future customers will ask for products that will make their information available on the basis of the IF4.0 standard, when they are purchasing equipment, devices and components," says Mikulina. The association confirms compatibility with the IF4.0 standard with a corresponding label on the product. “Our association is open to interested parties from all sectors, and we are looking forward to welcoming every member that wants to actively promote the implementation of this standard in the coming months," says Mikulina.
This article was first published by Blechnet.
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