Industry 4.0 from EBV - Man and machine solutions
For EBV, Industry 4.0 means the smart and secure collection and exchange of data. The hardware is an enabler, however, an abundance of know-how and multiple core functionalities also come from the software side.
Industry 4.0 is also interesting also for small companies. Formerly an enterprise had to be of a certain size and correspondingly employ many people to play and active and important role in the industrial market. With the scope of the IoT and Industry 4.0 new tools and support offered by the Internet, which would previously have only been available to large enterprises, means small companies, with for instance 15 employees, are able to bring highly attractive products to market. These communication tools and applications also offer the chance to enter the world market with an ingenious product very rapidly.
Principally Industry 4.0 is the smart and safe collection and processing of data on the basis of an intensive exchange of data from all processing tiers. In this context, hardware is an enabler, as well as various core functions embedded in software, and specialized knowledge is essential.
The network provider Cisco has predicted that in 2020 about 50 billion applications will be connected over the Internet of Things (IoT). Although Industry 4.0 is a part of the overall IoT umbrella, it is not a final state that must be reached, but a constantly changing process leading to the development of IoT.
In Germany, research institutes such as the DFKI, the Technologiezentrum OWL and the RWTH Aachen, were the first to concentrate on the topic Industry 4.0. The research department Innovative Fabriksysteme (IFS) of the DFKI (Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz, German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence) created the demonstration platform SmartFactoryKL, whereas the Technology Centre East Westphalia-Lippe (OWL) brings together more than 170 companies and institutions into a technology network dedicated to discussing solutions for Industry 4.0. At the technical university RWTH Aachen more than 20 institutes for materials and for manufacturing technology, in cooperation with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and prestigious production industry companies, research how to lay a foundation for a sustainable production strategy.
Meanwhile many companies are already active in Industry 4.0, as today there is virtually no other alternative: either you join in or you are in danger of not being a competitive company in the mid or long term. By focusing on Industry 4.0 enterprises sometimes have to alter their business model, but without developing in this direction they are likely to become irrelevant in the future.
Within the scope of Industry 4.0, EBV Elektronik considers itself a supporter of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). EBV advises and proposes components as well as solutions that will help SMEs to jump on the Industry 4.0 bandwagon, which is already evolving rapidly. As EBV Elektronik focuses on those companies that intend to develop components to be used within Industry 4.0, this article concentrates exclusively on development and design of elements for application in Industry 4.0; for instance on the design of a new machine control system.
With Industry 4.0 new potential possibilities arise for European enterprises; accordingly they should utilize these possibilities to develop new business models to successfully maintain their position in the world market. If European industrys do not use this potential, other companies will, ultimately undermining the European businesses by providing new solutions. Europe´s industry is currently at a crossroads: Industry 4.0 is not a question of “if?” but of “when?” and “who?”
Many SME’s don´t have the engineering, IT and development resources required to cover all aspects of Industry 4.0. For example many owners of medium-sized companies openly admit that they have no experience with application programming. Central European enterprises could achieve a lot with a new way of thinking, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel by modifying existing strategies.
American and Chinese companies are much more flexible in this regard, they combine technologies from different service providers and companies to develop a new application, resulting in disruptive business models.
Core elements of security
There are five different methods for implementing security: these are the basic aspects of authentication, data integrity and data security as well as anti-tampering and anti-counterfeiting.
- Authentication ensures distinct identification of system components. For instance the system realizes that only truly approved components for drive and control, or terminals for remote maintenance are connected with it.
- Data integrity concentrates on protecting against corruption of data during communication. This aspect is essential to protect firmware updates via the Internet, but also to make sure that the transmitted sensor data is really trustworthy.
- Data security deals with the encrypted data communication using technologies for encryption and decryption.
- Anti-tampering is the manipulation protection of a device. In case of manipulation, the system automatically deletes the corresponding security keys so the manipulation becomes apparent.
- Anti-counterfeiting is simply a protection against reproduction implemented in hardware and software, where certain keys are stored in a cryptographic chip. The device functions only when the keys in the crypto-chip and in the related software fit together. This is one way the problem of overbuilding (unauthorized production of additional devices beyond the agreed production orders) with contract manufacturers can be tackled.
Security inclusive data security
This quasi-seamless connectivity also entails certain risks. To ensure a smooth operation the systems must do exactly what has to be done. To prevent hackers manipulating processes and to taking control, security – which is much more than "only" data integrity – is essential.
When it comes to implementation of security using cryptography chips at the board level, EBV Elektronik issues some recommendations, however when it comes to key security concepts partners like Fraunhofer, with its specialist knowledge, will come into play. These partners also support the company developing products with security analysis, plus detection and removal of potential security breaches. One thing should be clear for everyone: those who don´t implement appropriate security measures leave themselves open to hostile hackers obtaining access to the system to provoke inconveniences.