Distributed Cooperative, Sensor-Driven Subsystem for Industrie 4.0 Production Facilities (DnsPro)
The Industrie 4.0 vision creates an opportunity to level up the flexibility, energy, and resource efficiency of production processes by means of intelligent controls and sophisticated integration. One of the mainstays of the small to medium-sized enterprises of Germany’s Mittelstand, i.e. the production of electronics and sensor technology, plays a key role in powering these developments.
Objectives and Approach
The goal of the project is to lay the foundations for intelligent, Industrie-4.0-ready production facilities that can adapt quickly and flexibly to changing circumstances while maintaining substantially higher availability. A model process for bottling any form of liquid product reveals the complex interactions between individual functional modules in a coherent joint system. The plant is expected to adjust autonomously to the product in question, while balancing the product’s unique characteristics and the facilities’ operating parameters. For this purpose, a versatile set of sensor functions and intelligent, autonomous self-diagnostics is integrated in the individual components and processes. Particular attention is paid to ensuring comprehensive security for the intellectual property of the component manufacturers. For this purpose, CodeMeter technology is used to protect the algorithms in the FPGAs and microcontrollers inside the decentralized control components. A superordinate process automatically coordinates keys, licenses, and secure firmware updates of the participating components to keep the system up to date, secure, and easy to maintain.
Innovations and Prospects
Distributed controls allow the immediate and economical combination of diverse sensor-actuator systems. Direct access to sensor data can offer additional benefits e.g. for preemptive maintenance. Beyond the food industry, the approach could be applied to other applications in the chemical and pharmaceutical or petroleum and gas industries.