Security and Industrie 4.0 solutions - Conversation with Armin Pühringer


Fieldbus organizations working more and more together

At the SPS IPC Drives 2016 you may have observed that the large fieldbus organizations were and are working together for a while now. As a manufacturer of multiprotocol chips, Hilscher takes a position in between and is therefore even more in demand than before.

For about two years now, Hilscher has been in contact with Mitsubishi (CC-Link) and Siemens (Profibus) in the area of Real-Time-Ethernet systems. From Hilscher’s point of view, the efforts made by the two driving forces are seen more as a complement to each other than a synergy that would result in a common protocol. It can be seen as a product-driven strategy to sell the relevant products in complementary markets.

Hilscher supports these efforts by developing appropriate coupler technologies that were also shown as a prototype – the netTAP 151 for RTE to RTE communication -  at the SPS IPC Drives 2016.


Connecting OT with IT - netIOT

One of the main goals is to promote a deeper connection between automation and information technology. As for that, two years ago, Hilscher decided to push the Industrie 4.0 portfolio forward under the brand netIOT. Focusing on not just creating connectivity solutions on shopfloor level, but to create the seamless connectivity from shopfloor to the industrial applications on IT level.

It is for this reason, that Hilscher encourages cooperation between the IT industry, Hilscher (as connectivity partner) and the sensor and actuator industry, which Hilscher already supports with the netX technology today.

All the collaboration elements and experiences made to this date were combined into one overall solution concept, which is called netIOT.


Sending data to the cloud – Security as obstacle for Industrial IoT?

Regarding the issue of sending data to the cloud, the security plays an important role. 1 ½  years ago security was the big obstacle that has hindered many companies working with IoT or rather with Industrie 4.0 at all.

Nowadays we can see that the benefits of Industrie 4.0 approaches are understood by plant operators and product manufacturers. This leads to the fact, that security is addressed more constructively.


Security approach from Hilscher’s Point of View

For Hilscher security means, that every product manufacturer incorporates security solutions and functionalities in his specific domain.

However, a seamless security concept means that an end-to-end solution must be established from the sensor to the IT. According to Hilscher’s experience, such a solution can only be created by working actively (together) in a customer project.


Differences between the “Plattform Industrie 4.0” and the “Industrial Internet Consortium”

Hilscher is a member of both platforms and in fact, there are differences. However, in sum, both platforms of both organizations have led to mutual benefits to each other over the time.

While the IIC, by focusing on and providing testbeds, has created the essential prerequisites for implementation, we saw that the Plattform Industrie 4.0 has done a lot of groundwork for technology development.

Buzzwords to be cited are the "administration shell", which is a concept of a virtual representation of assets, and the “RAMI 4.0”, which is the reference architecture of Industrie 4.0 withunique elements of lifecycle considerations throughout all layers.

Nowadays the idea of using testbeds has also arrived to Germany. It is adapted through the LNI 4.0, which places a special attention on practical examples.

As far as the overall concepts and architectures are concerned, the collaboration between the IIC and the Industry 4.0 platform is absolutely essential.

Exciting times are ahead of us.


(German Video after the break)