Networking different systems from diverse manufacturers—all of which feature different interfaces, profiles, and communication mechanisms—is the challenge of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This is where OPC UA comes in. It creates a uniform basis for continuous information exchange from the field to the cloud.
Industry 4.0 is generally understood as the comprehensive digitalization of industrial production. In Industry 4.0, entire production processes are interconnected with people, machines, products, factory facilities, and logistics processes. Production speed is increased significantly. In this blog post, we give an overview of the past Industrial Revolutions that have brought us to this point and outline how Pepperl+Fuchs is involved in Industry 4.0.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) grants plant operators access to large amounts of process data in real time from the smart devices on the factory floor. It is imperative that plant operators possess the proper tools for efficient data management to improve their processes and reduce costs. HMIs, thin clients, and software can help plant operators effectively utilize IIoT data to enhance workflows, increase safety, and perform predictive maintenance.
Industry 4.0 applications require sensors to do more than just deliver process data to the PLC. In smart manufacturing, sensors must be able to communicate with other devices and higher-level information systems. This is possible with IO-Link, a simple, flexible, and secure open communication technology that enables continuous communication at the sensor level.