Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing.
Industry 4.0 creates what has been called a 'smart factory'. Within the modular structured smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time, and via the Internet of Services, both internal and cross-organizational services are offered and used by participants of the value chain.
There are four design principles in Industry 4.0. These principles support companies in identifying and implementing Industry 4.0 scenarios.
Interoperability: The ability of machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate with each other via the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of People (IoP).
Information transparency: The ability of information systems to create a virtual copy of the physical world by enriching digital plant models with sensor data. This requires the aggregation of raw sensor data to higher-value context information.
Technical assistance: First, the ability of assistance systems to support humans by aggregating and visualizing information comprehensibly for making informed decisions and solving urgent problems on short notice. Second, the ability of cyber physical systems to physically support humans by conducting a range of tasks that are unpleasant, too exhausting, or unsafe for their human co-workers.
Decentralized decisions: The ability of cyber physical systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as autonomous as possible. Only in case of exceptions, interferences, or conflicting goals, tasks are delegated to a higher level.