The Industry (‘Industrie’) 4.0 working group has proposed a vision of the latest industrial revolution through the use of cyber physical systems. Factories will be capable of dynamically changing their business and engineering processes based on real time information at every level of the value chain. An important step in achieving this new factory model is to increase the interoperability between machinery and machinery (M2M) on the factory floor and also between human machine interfaces (HMIs).
This report will utilise the methodologies of industry 4.0 as a reference and will outline the challenges and value of information and communication technology (ICT) with respect to inter-operability. Furthermore, it describes the general emerging technologies in ICT today and how they will define the factory of the future. Methodology and standards are presented as well as the new vision of a factory of the future through industry 4.0 is with respect to interoperability.
The general reference architecture of a manufacturing plant is given with a brief description of systems that operate at each level. The machine to machine communication protocols that are used in manufacturing are described in detail and the strengths and weaknesses of each protocol are discussed and a comparison is made between the protocols. Furthermore, a section on human machine interfacing HMI incorporating a scientific methodology of evaluation is provided and the common user interfaces used in industry today are discussed along with some emerging technologies which are expected to redefine what is expected from HMI. Nevertheless, the use cases of the COMPOSITION project from the perspective of interoperability are discussed briefly and accordingly a suggestion is made on the interoperability requirements.
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