IF4.0: Industry Business Network 4.0 presents the new industry standard
IF4.0 is to become the new industry standard for cross-producer information exchange in a Smart Factory. The standard has been conceived by Industry Business Network 4.0 e.V. and will be continuously developed further by the association’s members in the future. 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.
At the congress “Fertigung 4.0 – Specific solutions with added value for SMEs”, Industry Business Network 4.0 Association presented the producer-independent solution for medium-sized companies to the public for the first time. The implementation of a Smart Factory is becoming attractive for small and medium-sized companies thanks to the standardized exchange of information between different machines and systems with IF4.0,” says Igor Mikulina, CEO of Industry Business Network 4.0 e.V., describing the advantages.
The association was launched in 2016 at the congress “Fertigung 4.0” and has since then intensively promoted the project to develop the IF4.0 industry standard. In comparison to many existing solutions, which focus on using all available data e. g. in the cloud, the core idea of the producer-independent IF4.0 standard is to process the machine data directly into relevant information by means of suitable methods and to make it available to a Smart Factory in a standardized form. Konstantin Kernschmidt, Project Manager Industry 4.0 explains: “Our approach in developing the solution is always oriented towards customer benefit. For the operator of a medium-sized production facility, networking must bring tangible added value. For example, he is interested in the fundamental question: Is my machine working properly? Depending on the type of machine/plant, this information can be generated from different data”.
Important basis for the topics of safety and security
The IF4.0 standard therefore defines the data and methods from which the relevant information can be generated for individual categories of plants, devices and components. This also has the considerable advantage for producers that they do not have to disclose all the data of their systems, which often contain technological know-how. The IF4.0 standard also makes networking and information exchange easier to check than uncontrolled data exchange and thus forms an important basis for safety and security issues. In particular, the TÜV Süd is particularly active in this area as a member of the Industry Business Network 4.0 association. ”Only with a conclusive security concept, transparent data use and independence from a specific provider will Industry 4.0 in the SMEs prevail”, says Dr.-Ing. Detlev Richter, Vice President of the TÜV Süd Product Service GmbH.
Implementation of the IF4.0 standard in reference plants
In the next step, the IF4.0 standard will be implemented in the association’s reference plants and in their first products. ”When implementing the technology, we will build on existing standards – such as OPC UA – as far as possible, but always keep an eye on the benefits for medium-sized businesses. During implementation, we will continue to develop the IF4.0 standard and add more categories to it,” explains Kernschmidt. In addition to machines and systems, gas, compressed air or energy supplies can also provide important information for operation. Applications that offer additional added value for the customer can also be docked via a standardized interface to use the information from the various systems in the Smart Factory.
”When purchasing equipment, devices and components, customers will in future pay attention to whether the products will make their information available on the basis of the IF4.0 standard,” says Mikulina.
Compatibility with the IF4.0 standard is thus confirmed by the association with a corresponding certificate on the product. ”Our association is open to interested parties from all branches of industry and we are looking forward to every member who wants to actively promote implementation in the coming months,” says Mikulina.
If you want to take an active part in the implementation of a Smart Factory for small and medium-sized businesses, then become a member! We look forward to your joining us.