IF4.0 was created by the Industry Business Network 4.0 association and undergoes continuous further development. In the IF4.0 standard, relevant data and methods are defined for individual categories of systems, devices and components from which the necessary information for the Smart Factory is generated. IF4.0 is thus set to become the new industry standard for the SME with regard to producer-independent information exchange in a Smart Factory.
Generally, plants, devices and components from different, specialized manufacturers are used, and in particular by medium-sized enterprises. The relevant data defined in the IF4.0 standard is integrated by the various control systems (e.g. CNC, PLC) via an interface, which serves as a neutral interface between control system and Smart Factory.
Using suitable methods, information is generated from the machine data and technical data/parameters, nowadays mostly provided analogue in instruction manuals, with which Industry 4.0 functionalities can be made available in the Smart Factory. Thus, with only minimal available information, the operator of a production facility obtains a producer-independent transparency for his plants and machines, which was previously only possible by way of time-consuming and cost-intensive customer-specific networking.
With additional applications, both the producers of plants, devices and components and the software producers can provide the customers with further functionalities for their Smart Factory. Depending on the respective requirements - and approval of the production facility operator - these applications can be executed either locally or in a cloud.
The utilization of plants, devices and components which make their information available via the IF4.0 standard guarantees customers that these products can be integrated in the Smart Factory without any additional investment. The association verifies compatibility with the IF4.0 standard by way of a corresponding certification on the product.