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Industrial Internet and Industry 4.0 groups collaborate

03 March, 2016

Two groups working on future industrial architectures – the Industrial Internet Consortium and Germany’s Plattform Industrie 4.0 consortium – have agreed to work together to align their efforts more closely.

At a recent meeting in Switzerland, representatives of the two groups acknowledged the complementary nature of their models – the Reference Architecture Model for Industrie 4.0 (RAMI4.0) and the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) – and produced an initial draft mapping showing the relationships between elements in the models, and a roadmap to ensure future interoperability.

Other possible areas of collaboration include IIC Testbeds and Industry 4.0 Test Facility Infrastructures, as well as standardisation, architectures and business outcomes in the Industrial Internet.

“The effort shows that smart technical people can bridge any gap and find a way to solve problems that might otherwise have created barriers to entry in the adoption of IoT technology for industrial applications,” comments IIC executive director, Dr Richard Mark Soley.

“Collaborating with other initiatives is important, especially for Germany’s export-oriented economy,” adds Prof Dr Siegfried Russwurm, technical director of Plattform Industrie 4.0, and chief technology officer at Siemens. “We are highly interested to cooperate intensively with others in order to pave the way for global standards. Cooperating with IIC – and with other consortia – is an important step in the right direction.”

“I'm excited to see the two premier Industrial Internet of Things organisations aligning their efforts,” says Stan Schneider, CEO of Real-Time Innovations and a member of the IIC steering committee. “Industry 4.0's strong foundation in industrial manufacturing and process combines well with the IIC's emphasis on emerging IIoT applications in healthcare, transportation, power, and smart cities. We are working aggressively to align the connectivity infrastructures of the underlying DDS and OPC UA connectivity standards. We look forward to driving the rapid growth of the IIoT across all industries.”

Work by the Industrial Internet Consortium and the Industry 4.0 consortium will be aligned more closely in future

The Swiss meeting was proposed by Bosch and SAP, who are members of the steering committees of both organisations. An informal group – including representatives from Bosch, Cisco, IIC, Pepperl+Fuchs, SAP and Siemens – will continue to explore potential alignments between Industry 4.0 and IIC.

“This is a huge accomplishment for industry adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things, as it will simplify technology choices immensely and lead to greatly enhanced interoperability,” says Dr Werner Struth, a board member at Bosch.

The Industrial Internet Consortium was formed to accelerate the development, adoption, and widespread use of interconnected machines and devices and intelligent analytics. It has more than 250 members from 28 countries, including Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel.

The Plattform Industrie 4.0 consortium, which is backed by the German government, is tasked with drawing up recommendations for action and demonstrating with example applications how industrial manufacturing can be digitised.

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