In Industrie 4.0 conventional field devices will be replaced by thousands of cyber-physical systems. In their role as intelligent agents in the Internet of Things, they form the nervous system of a Smart Factory.
In connection with “Industrie 4.0”, the Internet of Things and Services is entering the next generation of factories. In this process, conventional field devices are being incrementally replaced by cyber-physical systems (CPS). These CPS are interconnected via real-time Ethernet or wireless IP protocols. Smart Factories deploy CPS that integrate a multitude of individual components: in addition to sensors and actuators, this includes a processor, memory, a wireless module and positioning modules, as well as a power supply that is as autonomous as possible.
Such multifunctional CPS 4.0 must be highly reliable, energy efficient and offer favorable costs, as thousands of such decentral systems form the nervous system of Smart Factories in “Industrie 4.0”. And just on time, the Hannover Messe 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Gordon Moore's rule of thumb (frequently referred to as Moore's Law) concerning the performance doubling of microelectronics every 18 months, in connection with dynamically declining costs. Viewed in this light, continued, exponential performance gains of CPS 4.0 can be assumed up to the year 2020 at least.
This will enable expanding each individual CPS as an intelligent agent. These agents will record and analyze their environment by way of its sensors, plan their activities dynamically based on pre-defined task profiles, while being capable of recognizing attacks on their safety and taking timely defense action. By way of the Internet of Things and Services, CPS 4.0 are able to form ad-hoc coalitions in order to deal with complex tasks as a team. As several CPS can also aggregate to create larger CPS units, a fractal structure of holons arises which, as “system-ofsystems- of-systems” can be combined to form a Smart Factory for “Industrie 4.0” that is networked on all levels.
By way of the Internet of Things and Services, CPS 4.0 converge as coalitions in order to deal with complex tasks as a team.
In this context, the networking and integration on the purely technical level for exchanging bits and bytes does not create any added value: it is only when the networked CPS 4.0 also understand the exchanged messages in terms of content that innovative factory functions such as Plug&Produce and real-time anomaly recognition are enabled. With the help of relations such as “subconcept of” or “opposite of” complex networks of terms and concepts are incrementally built up - so-called ontologies. Semantic artificial intelligence technologies bridge the gap between the technical language of IT and the languages of automation technology and their users, as they allow different systems of concepts and terms to be translated into one another without loss of meaning.
Innovative software systems, however, are the essential precondition enabling the intelligent behavior of CPS 4.0. Therefore, in future, app stores and cloud access will be available that will serve to constantly update software-defined factory platforms based on networked CPS as the foundation of “Industrie 4.0”.