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Open Industry 4.0 Alliance


Open Industry 4.0 Alliance

At Hannover Messe, European companies from the mechanical engineering, industrial automation and software industries signed a cooperation agreement for the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. Founding members include Beckhoff, Endress+Hauser Group, Hilscher, ifm, Kuka, Multivac and SAP. The alliance is open to all companies; other members include Balluff Group, Gebhardt Fördertechnik, Pepperl+Fuchs, Arvos, Schmidtsche Schack, Samson and Wika.

Members of the alliance are committed to creating a standardized and open ecosystem for operating highly automated factories and plants, including logistics and services. The alliance is working to avoid proprietary stand-alone solutions to better enable digital transformation in European industry. The companies plan to work with future members to create what is known as an Open Industry 4.0 Framework on the basis of existing standards such as IO-Link, OPC UA and RAMI.

Hala Zeine, President, Digital Supply Chain and Manufacturing, SAP said: “Members from the mechanical engineering industries, industrial process automation and software profit from the mutual pledge of all the alliance members to take action. This means all members can develop and offer their relevant and compatible solution and service portfolios. The key takeaway is that the combined customers of the alliance will benefit by having relevant data across their assets, as well as compatible solutions for greater equipment efficiency to help them achieve their digitalization goals faster.

The open, standards-based offering of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance includes four modules — Device Connectivity, Edge, Operator Cloud, and Cloud Central — plus an associated service offering. Device Connectivity establishes the connection to the machines and sensors. Edge is the central node for all the important and locally necessary functions in the factory. Operator Cloud is the central node in the customer’s company that an open layer and supports all enterprise-centric functions and applications. Finally, Cloud Central enables the bidirectional exchange of data between companies, such as master data and measurement data from calibrations, as well as information including technical documentation and repair manuals.

The first proofs of concept were completed in 2018, with adaptable and flexible matrix production at Kuka. The aim is to produce additional proofs of concept from members and their customers by mid-2019. The founding members are preparing their first results for the second half of 2019.


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