Industrial Communication

Assembly Line

Audi drives the future of manufacturing

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Kevin Delany

🔖 Topics: Partnership, Industrial Communication

🏢 Organizations: Cisco, Audi, Volkswagen

The production of the Audi e-tron GT illustrates what’s possible in this new paradigm. It went from design to production in record time — without a physical prototype.

Virtual reality prototypes are just the beginning. Thousands of assets in the Böllinger Höfe plant operate under the aegis of Audi’s Edge Cloud 4 Production (EC4P), with critical networking and security support from Cisco. And by connecting “brownfield” legacy hardware — that is, existing devices like cameras, robots, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and field busses — the transformation did not demand a complete factory overhaul. It did, however, benefit from the efforts of Cisco’s Customer Experience team to bring the vision to life.

“Audi and Cisco shared the vision of getting rid of the compute hardware from the shop floor and virtualizing it,” Loeser concluded. “That’s one of the big reasons why we are actually deploying this today.

Read more at Cisco Newsroom

Ethernet-APL for Evolving Field Devices and the Future of Industrial Ethernet

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: Taro Endoh, Shuji Kuwahara, Seiichiro Takahashi

🔖 Topics: Ethernet-APL, Industrial Communication

🏢 Organizations: Yokogawa

Communication technologies used in process automation (PA) plants must satisfy several requirements such as long-distance communication and stable operation in hazardous areas. Although 4–20 mA devices and fieldbus devices satisfy these requirements and thus have been used for many years, general-purpose Ethernet technology in PA plants is expected to achieve DX and IT/OT convergence at the field device level. From the viewpoint of standardization, this paper explains how Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (Ethernet-APL) can meet the requirements of PA plants, shows what benefits Ethernet-APL will bring to PA plants and what challenges are expected to emerge, and describes the prospects and expectations of Yokogawa’s contribution to this field.

Read more at Yokogawa Technical Report

5G Wireless Communication for Driving Digitalization in the Process Industry

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: Hideo Nishimura, Shuji Yamamoto

🔖 Topics: 5G, Industrial Communication

🏢 Organizations: Yokogawa

The fifth-generation mobile communication system (5G) has been developed not only for consumer use but also as a fundamental communication infrastructure for various industries. The importance of wireless technology is becoming increasingly recognized in the process industry; this technology enables devices in the plant field to be connected wherever they are, which is also essential to accelerate digitalization and improve productivity. To drive digitalization using 5G technology, Yokogawa has been actively involved in the standardization of the technology while working on proof-of-concept tests to clarify use cases in the process industry. From the viewpoint of how the process industry utilizes 5G for digitalization, this paper overviews 5G technology, its potential use cases, and challenges in practical use and describes Yokogawa’s commitments.

Read more at Yokogawa Technical Report

⭐ A Framework for Enhancing the Interoperability of Information across a Plant

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: Atsushi Sato, Toshio Ono, Tetsuo Takeuchi

🔖 Topics: Industrial Control System, Programmable Logic Controller, OPC Unified Architecture, Operational Technology, Industrial Communication

🏢 Organizations: Yokogawa, FDT Group

Since it is becoming increasingly difficult for a single vendor to meet diversifying user requirements by itself, interoperability among multi-vendor components and control systems such as distributed control systems (DCS) and programmable logic controllers (PLC), has been improved by adopting open industrial communication protocols. However, these protocols, and the information generated, stored, and transferred, are not fully compatible with each other. Accordingly, the open platform communications unified architecture (OPC UA) and related international standards are attracting attention from many vendors and users as a key to high interoperability. This paper introduces how OPC UA improves interoperability among plant components and systems and describes Yokogawa’s prospect.

This paper introduced the trend of FITS and OPC UA FX as standard technologies related to OPC UA. Conventionally, a plant operation system is built by stacking various specialized elements. The system is expected to be integrated vertically and horizontally by industrial-level interoperability standards including OPC UA. As a result, the functional hierarchy will become flat and diverse components and systems will cooperate with each other regardless of the kind of vendors and applications. Yokogawa focuses on the interoperability in the cooperative domain, which was discussed in this paper, and is actively participating in standardization of FITS, OPC UA FX, and IEC/IEEE 60802.

Read more at Yokogawa Technical Report

Best practices in IIoT-based predictive maintenance

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Glenn Shulz

🔖 Topics: Industrial Communication, IIoT, OPC Unified Architecture

🏢 Organizations: FDT Group, Yokogawa

A key component of the FDT 3.0 standard is the FDT Server built around a core server, which provides a center point for a wide range of client and server interactions. It includes an OPC UA server providing access to device type manager (DTM) data with authenticated OPC UA clients and a web server enabling the use of web user interfaces on remotely connected, browser-based clients and other mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and PCs. The solution also supports the use of apps that improve workforce productivity and plant availability.

“The latest industry trends center around advanced data analytics, digital twins and cloud computing. The FDT 3.0 standard supports these solutions by delivering network and device information to enable improved diagnostics and predictive analytics. The technology provides a tool to not only monitor and predict asset health, but also remotely configure and manage assets for the highest level of reliability.”

Read more at Plant Engineering

John Deere foresees private 5G at its factories worldwide

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Martha DeGrasse

🔖 Topics: 5G, Industrial Communication

🏢 Organizations: John Deere

The $546,000 John Deere spent to acquire 5 CBRS spectrum licenses last year has started the manufacturer on a path it says may eventually lead to private 5G networks in all its factories.

5G will be replacing Wi-Fi in the manufacturing facilities, and Ronning said the number of access points needed to cover the factory floors will drop. “It’s an order of magnitude less radios than what we’re accustomed to,” he said, adding that the 5G radios extend coverage to the area outside the factory as well.

Eventually, other devices and machines on the factory floor will also become more autonomous, Ronning said. “We view this as a key initiative to help us adopt machine learning and AI,” he explained. “As we move forward with further adoptions of those types of technologies we are going to be heavily leveraging the 5G work that we’re doing today.”

Read more at Fierce Wireless