Industrie 4.0: Industrial Automation Services as part of the Cloud

Institute Industrial IT (inIT) of the OWL University in Lemgo/Germany is the Cloud Innovation World Cup Winner 2014 Category Industry 4.0
Future automation systems should meet fast growing market demands by providing agile and flexible production lines. In-addition, competitive production costs and scalability of the automation systems would be an important concern for the Industry 4.0. To achieve this, manufacturers will prefer to use high quality automation services instead of buying bunch of complex hardware and software products. The virtualization of industrial functions and realize them as a Cloud service would be a promising approach for factories of future.

This solution introduces a loosely coupled cloud platform which hosts different automation applications with respect to some requirements such as reliability and security. Proof of concept for this solution comprises of virtual control appliances offered to the users as a service from a cloud platform via the network. Thus, plant engineers choose a desired template of an appliance from cloud portal to create a virtual instance of this appliance. This new instance will be automatically provisioned by a cloud director and placed in a cloud hypervisor. Based on application’s requirements, this hypervisor can be a soft or a hard real-time hypervisor. A virtual network connects virtual appliances to physical devices and meanwhile applies security policies.


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