October 2020 marked the successful completion of Productive 4.0, Europe’s largest research project in the field of digital industry. The project had a duration of more than three years. TTTech was one of over 100 partner companies and institutions from 19 European countries involved in the project, which was coordinated by Infineon Technologies AG. With key outcomes enabling more predictability and flexibility in production as well as efficient change of business models for future application, the project made huge strides towards the improvement of digitalization in European industry.
One of the biggest aims of the project was to create next generation Internet of Things (IoT) architectures with smart sensors, actuators and integrated IoT edge components. These architectures serve to connect devices such as manufacturing machines, intelligent robots, smartphones etc., thus enabling data processing, monitoring, and control within highly complex and dynamic production environments.
TTTech Industrial Automation AG and TTTech Computertechnik AG played an active role in Productive 4.0, focusing on research and development of industrial IoT solutions for highly scalable and modular real-time architectures. This included the definition of requirements and architectures for flexible production processes based on OPC-UA over TSN for (deterministic) data communication. These architectures are complimented by TTTech Industrial’s IEEE TSN and OPC (OpenFog Consortium) standardization activities. They form the basis for interoperability, which is particularly important for smart industry applications such as edge computing, where products from different vendors connect to form a joint production solution. In course of the Productive 4.0 project, IoT hardware and software components were developed that benefitted from this co-funded feature development.
The development of these components supports European small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) in increasing their competitiveness in digital services. Thanks to enabling interoperability of components sourced from different manufacturers, SMEs are not subject to vendor lock-in and can build out-of-the-box solutions that perfectly fit their needs and production situation.
The project results were presented at the EU project review meeting in a demonstrator supporting open and autonomous industrial systems of the future with an automated approach to the planning of large network and large industrial systems. It showcases the dynamic network reconfiguration for efficient and flexible connections between applications and services in manufacturing.