Smart factory: it’s all about the software

Smart production through digitization

How does "smartness" get into the smart factory? Clearly through the software. It controls, coordinates and plans ahead - ideally in real time. At automatica you will get to know smart software and cloud computing solutions for automated production.

Software and cloud computing for the smart factory

It is not an utopian idea but established practice in modern production facilities to process an industrial customer's (online) order directly in the manufacturer's IT infrastructure, to break it down into digital jobs in line with the process, and to forward it to the individual machines from there – even in production scenarios with a batch size of one. This is the basic philosophy of Industry 4.0 and IIoT.

It is enabled by the ‘digital twin’ of the component to be produced or the entire projected automation system – a twin that lives only in the software. That is the reason why the software and the associated ICT infrastructure play a pivotal role in automation.

From virtual engineering to digital twins

This is not a very recent development. However, the ICT infrastructure now plays a more important role than ever. It first comes into play during the initial stages of product development. More and more data accumulates from this point onwards – making the digital twin grow. It can be used for simulations to virtually test and commission the system even before there is a physical product. During plant operation, the digital twin is the ‘blueprint’ for service and optimization work. Thus, it is a digital likeness accompanying its physical twin for its entire life cycle.

That is more than just innovation – it transforms product development, plant engineering, and production. Find out how this transformation is implemented and what aspects users need to take into account – software specialists at automatica will tell you.

Digitization, data volume, and cyber security

For example, they will present integrated IT systems enabling data continuity. They will show ways of integrating development (CAD) and production (ERP) at the data level, along with the standards and interfaces to facilitate such integrations. In doing so, they will also provide answers regarding the most suitable storage location for software and data – on premise, in an edge solution, or in the cloud. And they will present fully digitized design and production solutions that contribute to sustainability efforts.

The ever-important topic of security is also addressed in this context: How to ensure (cyber) security in scenarios where data is stored in the cloud, system integration extends to suppliers and customers, and overarching platforms are used?

The software and ICT providers at automatica offer not one but many solutions covering every single aspect of this transformation.

Individual product categories

Software for robotics, assembly and handling technology • Software for machine vision • Software and systems for the smart factory • Smart factory services • Cloud computing • Systems and solutions for big data applications • System integration and • Consulting for cloud computing and big data