At this year’s K2016, Industry 4.0 will be a common theme in the machinery halls. This is an emerging industry standard that will allow greater connectivity and interoperability between machinery. It is no surprise, then, that ancillary manufacturers – whose kit must hook up to core machinery – are in on the act. Piovan has updated its Winfactory supervision software by incorporating ‘Industry 4.0’ protocols – which will allow greater interoperability between devices in future. Winfactory 4.0 uses OPC - UA (Open Platform Communication - Unified Architecture), the protocol selected by Industrie 4.0 before issuing the Smart Factory specifications: developed by the OPC Foundation in 2015, it defines the communication rules and data exchange between the various entities that make up the system. Using this protocol means that Winfactory 4.0 can supervise and ensure dialogue between Piovan machines and machines of other manufacturers. There is no longer the need for an interface that ‘translates’ the data into a common format, says Piovan – and the information exchange becomes immediate and the systems can interact independently. Industry 4.0 is based on the adoption of four basic principles, which are implemented in the Smart Factory: Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) – which guarantees interoperability of devices; integration of data to the context; digital interconnection; and decentralisation of decisions.
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