Project Smart Factory @ stürmsfs
The production sites of the Swiss steel trader stürmsfs ag from Goldach am Bodensee (CH) represent the quality of its innovative European production very well. Machines and plants of different manufacturers, with different control systems – old as well as new – are coordinated to work together during several shifts. It is also the awareness that the manufacturing industry will change radically as a result of digitization and that the step towards the Smart Factory must now be taken if one wants to continue to be the spearhead, unites the management of stürmsfs ag with that of many European medium-sized companies.
However, it is exactly this heterogeneous machine landscape that makes networking such a challenge for many companies.
Those who have recognized the urgent need for digitization usually opt for the customized, proprietary Smart Factory of the system integrator, which is designed and implemented for the respective company. Although the goal is often achieved, there is the question of costs and openness to other ecosystems. In short: Did I back the right horse for this strategic decision?
This is exactly where Project Smart Factory @ stürmsfs of the Industry Business Network 4.0 differs – together with around 30 innovative machine manufacturers & software partners, this project creates a prime example of an open, cross-manufacturer Industry 4.0 ecosystem. A network that is free for the integration of all machine manufacturers, software companies, platforms, and infrastructures. Built on the latest open source technology, it is a resilient, scalable platform that provides the foundation for new digital business models and easy implementation of future technologies such as 5G, AI, machine learning and blockchain for M2M transactions. In other words, an open, high-performance networking solution that allows the networking of any system.
The aim of the project is to transform the production of stürmsfs ag into an intelligent Smart Factory, in which all machines & plants (assets) are networked across production sites and can communicate with each other on a standardized basis.
In addition to the basic production data acquisition and visualization of the information, the acquired database will offer the possibility to add standardized and targeted software applications as well as existing software infrastructures such as ERP, MES, e-commerce. The project participants also aim to upgrade their products and components for Industry 4.0, to develop new use cases pragmatically and cooperatively, and to transform these into business models so that the results can subsequently be reproducibly incorporated into their product portfolio.
This unique digitization project and the innovative power of the individual project participants will be promoted effectively in the media on an ongoing basis.
“eing an innovative company in the metalworking sector, on-time delivery, quality, and customer satisfaction has top priority. Through the intelligent networking of our productions, we expect not only complete transparency but also an additional boost of these three quality features. I am also convinced that this will give us the platform we need to be able to offer our customers new digital services for all aspects of steel cutting.”
Marcel Meier – Business Development & Member of the Executive Board stürmsfs AG
To achieve the goals within the roadmap, the project is divided into two parallel action strings – one is the preparation of the plants by the machine manufacturers with regard to semantics and interoperability. In addition to the hardware-based preparation of machines and systems, the underlying networking solution offers a user-friendly software-based semantic management system that can be used to create real interoperability in a standardized and completely manufacturer-independent manner.
Parallel to the hardware, the software development team is already working on setting up the first operational system. It will be tested as the first pre-alpha version at stürmsfs towards the end of 2019, and also represent the first digital image of the stürmsfs Smart Factory.
Further features based on the roadmap are continuously and iteratively integrated into the project. As another important milestone, we see the fastest possible release of SDKs and APIs to give software developers and machine manufacturers the ability to fill the ecosystem with applications, digital services and ultimately life right from the start. The aim, of course, is to transfer developments into the product portfolios of the project participants in a standardized and reproducible manner.
Do you find this approach exciting and would you like to participate?
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The Open Source Technology behind Networking
IndustryFusion is an initiative of the Industry Business Network 4.0 e.V. whose goal is to provide a fully-fledged Industry 4.0 networking solution that can network and manage any asset in any manufacturing environment.
By linking assets on a semantic level, IndustryFusion creates true cross-vendor interoperability – regardless of their communication protocols. The deployment options are intentionally kept flexible, allowing IndustryFusion to run on an edge server, any cloud, or in a hybrid environment. Besides flexible deployment, IndustryFusion also serves the highest industrial standards of IT security & reliability.
For Fab Operators
- Connects and manages any number of assets from multiple vendors
- Connects assets on the shop floor level to existing IT infrastructure (ERP, MES, CRM)
- Provides a secure and resilient Smart Factory platform to generate valuable insight and revenue from the data it collects
For Machine Manufacturers
- Manages and maintains the entire fleet of assets in the field
- Connects field assets to existing IT infrastructure (ERP, MES, CRM)
- Offers a secure and robust smart product platform for building new digital business models for nearly any industrial asset
- Generates true cross-vendor interoperability between assets
- IndustryFusion is freely scalable and offers maximum deployment flexibility
- IndustryFusion is suitable for both greenfield and brownfield applications
- Customized IT security in accordance with Industry 4.0 specifications
Die 3 IndustryFusion Software Stacks
Collects data directly from the asset. The asset level contains all components and services that take place on the machine level (data pre-processing, semantic translation, communication to the factory stack, heartbeat check).
Forms the central hub that cumulates the data and information of all networked assets in the manufacturing process. The factory stack contains all FAB components and services (data processing and storage, reporting, events, messages, APIs as well as interfaces to clouds and platforms)
Flexibly manages the distribution of parts of the Smart Factory between Edge and Cloud. The Cloud Platform Stack allows you to network multiple production sites, host cloud-based applications, connect to any Industry 4.0 ecosystem to take advantage of their services (marketplace, app stores, industrial services, etc.). The Cloud Platform Stack offers several supporting services such as the Semantic Manager to quickly and easily create asset communication drivers.
“The task of smart networking for SMEs is a challenge of such complexity that it can no longer be realized through a proprietary monopolistic approach – if we want to successfully master this step, we can only achieve this through targeted cooperation and networking between manufacturers, ecosystems, and users.”
Dr.-Ing. Konstantin Kernschmidt – Project Manager Industry Business Network 4.0
The Democratization of Industry 4.0
IndustryFusion is the first manufacturer-independent open-source networking solution for Smart Factories that creates an interoperable link between machine, factory and cloud platform. The simplicity of implementation is a central component of the solution and enables SMEs to benefit from the advantages of a broad Industry 4.0 ecosystem.
So join now and use IndustryFusion for your digitization strategy!
- Deployment of a first pre-alpha of IndustryFusion with a digital image of the production and basic features.
- Visualization of operating data
- Plant efficiency according to SEMI E10 (OEE)
- Maintenance data
- Energy data
- Provision of APIs and SDKs
- Implementation of safety & security features
- Implementation of an event-based notification system
- Data analysis and reporting of cumulative data
- Integration of first ecosystem applications & services
- Integration of future technologies like:
- Blockchain for M2M transaction
- 5G wireless standard for the wireless connection of assets
- Pre-Alpha & Digital Image of Manufacturing (Q4 – 2019)
- Presentation interim stand at Community Event (Q4 – 2019)
- Presentation of interim results at HMI 2020 (Q2 – 2020)
- Project conclusion & presentation at EuroBLECH 2020 (Q4 – 2020)
“We live in a time in which almost all challenges can be solved technologically. On the one hand we have the European Machinery & Plant Engineering industry, which sets global standards with its high-tech products, and on the other hand, the world of IT, which provides us with many high-performance, field-tested open source software frameworks. Let’s now bring both worlds together and pave the way for the digital future of small and medium-sized businesses.”
Matt Mikulina – Team IndustryFusion
After the conceptual part, we are now officially starting the second phase – the pragmatic implementation of an interoperable, open Smart Factory in a real manufacturing environment. Developed as the first prototype and presented at the EuroBLECH 2018 trade fair, the Smart Factory @ stürmsfs ag project is now being implemented in the productive operation of the innovative Swiss company as part of running systems and real use cases. Based on the latest open source technology, we are creating an open and manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 ecosystem, which in future will be able to form a truly pragmatically implementable, cost-efficient solution for networking European SMEs.
So let’s get started together, further develop it in practice and incorporate the results into our series products. Let’s now start together in the digital future of medium-sized businesses!
For additional information and opportunities to participate in other development projects, please contact us:
We would also be pleased to welcome you as a new member of the Industry Business Network 4.0.
Chief Executive Officer (Industry Business Network 4.0), Managing Director (MicroStep Europa)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Schilp
Member of the Management Board (Industry Business Network 4.0.), Head of Chair of Production Informatics (University of Augsburg), Head of Processing Technology (Fraunhofer IGCV)