Companies therefore find themselves facing a growing range of new services and products that they must somehow factor into their own digitalization strategies.
In the future, moreover, it will no longer suffice merely to digitalize an individual process in isolation from others. Instead, cyberphysical systems (CPS) involve flexible, interconnected systems of communication in which each subsystem, each machine cluster, each machine will “talk” with one another. This in turn supposes the possibility of vertical and horizontal communication between individual elements of the system at all times. Once this is in place, then production robots, for example, will be able to do more than merely perform specific tasks – they will also be able to interact with other machines or even people.
Smart processes and smart assets enable connected production systems
To transition to Industrie 4.0, the production sector therefore requires suitable infrastructures and software interfaces between production machinery and the systems that capture and process the data automatically generated during production. At the same time, these systems need to be fed with the right data. In other words, existing processes and assets will have to become increasingly intelligent in the future. This in turn requires prototypes that function at the level of the technology and the specific process.
Fraunhofer SCS is therefore seeking to develop connected systems and prototypes for production and logistics that factor in both the process and the technology used and that enable communication throughout the system as a whole.