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Flexible Automation Open Industry 4.0 Alliance enables Networking

Editor: Nicole Kareta

Since its foundation in April 2019, Open Industry 4.0 Alliance has grown to more than 40 members with different core competencies. The focus is on continuous and secure networking that enables data exchange between partners.

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With Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, production-relevant components can be networked intelligently.
With Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, production-relevant components can be networked intelligently.
(Source: KUKA AG)

Each member of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance plays its part in making it easier for end users to connect their production: from hardware components to edge connectivity and computing to clouds and services. Each partner of the Alliance is committed to contributing its technical core competencies in such a way that operators and end users benefit from an established, reliable and scalable overall solution - the Alliance's Interoperability Framework. The focus is always on secure and simple data exchange between the partners.

Connectivity and Digitization Demand Flexibility

Industry 4.0 means intelligently connecting production-relevant components - be they screwdrivers, robots, machine tools or entire plants. But Industry 4.0 also means complexity. Because networking and digitization within the industry requires a level of perfection that is seldom found in this form. Flexibility is required. Dr. Christian Liedtke, KUKA expert in the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance explains, why KUKA is one of the founding members: "Industrial robots play an important role in flexible automation. Other industrial machines are usually only intended for one purpose. Robots, on the other hand, offer almost infinite flexibility. In conjunction with other applications, they often have a central, controlling function".

Overcoming Proprietary Island Solutions

The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance aims to enable up to 80 percent of the machines in a Smart Factory to communicate with each other. The goal is to overcome proprietary isolated solutions in order to give a decisive boost to the end-to-end digital transformation in the industry. In October 2019, the association behind the Alliance was founded to further strengthen the official character of the alliance. In addition to KUKA, the founding members include Beckhoff, Endress+Hauser, Hilscher, ifm, MULTIVAC, SAP, Tetra Pak and Voith. In the meantime, around 32 other companies have joined the Alliance as members.

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