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Factory Floor Integration in Industry 4.0 - complementing the ISA-95 Automation Pyramid

The transition into Industry 4.0 requires new thinking. The traditional ISA-95 reference model is a layered approach where one layer is integrated with the next layer in the model.

Crosser ISA-95 Automation Pyramid

Industry 4.0 is based on the convergence of OT and IT using modern technologies that are significantly easier to use and faster to deploy in order to extract business value from integrating machine data, shop floor data, enterprise data and cloud applications.

New use cases for real-time automation, edge analytics, ML and AI and new sensor types like video and audio creates opportunities for innovation and automation across the layers in the reference model. But it also puts new requirements on the factory floor integration architecture. A more flexible approach is needed.

Flexible Any-to-Any Hub Architecture

Industry 4.0 doesn't call for drastic replacement projects. New use cases can be enabled by complementing the existing architecture, one use case at the time. Complementing the hierarchical model with a Intelligent Any-to-Any Hub Architecture opens up for full flexibility and a smooth path towards increased digitalisation and value extraction.

Crosser Any-to-Any System Architecture

A vertical Any-to-Any Hub Architecture allows for communication between any system in the automation stack, with logic in-between and it also allows for connecting automation systems with non-automation systems to create new automation functionality.

Real-time Intelligence on your Factory Floor

The new generation integration platforms does much more than just move and map data between systems. Modern solutions allows you to integrate any device or machine data and any data source with intelligent analytics, events, workflows and triggers. In real time and with your own code or ML models if needed. There are four essential steps to consider for each integration.

  1. Data Connectivity and Collection. Legacy or new data sources, streaming or batch. Getting hold of the data is the starting point. Wherever it is. And in whatever format.
  2. Data transformation. Real-time data reformatting to match your data model including adding metadata.
  3. Intelligent Logic. Act on data with event processing, anomaly detection, business rules and Machine Learning models. Use existing modules as building blocks or your own custom code.
  4. Integration. Connect back to machines, to OT or Enterprise systems or to Cloud Platform or SaaS Services.

Intelligence embedded in an Any-to-Any Architecture create unlimited opportunities for increased automation, including:

  • New sensors. Use, for instance, cameras as advanced vision sensors. Analyse images using vision algorithms and use the results to control machines or inform operators through HMI devices.
  • Machine data to ERP. Bypass hierarchies and connect machine data directly with ERP systems. Analyze machine data using logic including custom algorithms or ML to find anomalies or patterns and initiate actions like a work-order in the ERP system.
  • Real-time insights. Collect data from machines using modern or legacy protocols. Extract the valuable and relevant data and integrate to storage systems. On premise or Cloud.
  •  Combined insights. Analyze multiple data sources and create triggers based on combined data patterns.

Crosser enables real-time integration between any data-source or system on the shop floor and the flexible Docker-based deployment makes it simple to start with one use case and grow from there.

The Any-to-Any Architecture could also be seen as a horizontal integration layer between machines and vertical integration between layers in the OT/IT technology stack.

Crosser Enabling Integration from Factory to Management

Unite your OT and IT teams

Industry 4.0 use cases often require a hybrid of OT and IT skills. The Crosser platform is built to unite different teams and competences in one platform where everyone can collaborate.

The Flow Studio is built as a low-code platform where typically the OT teams are responsible for the machine data collection and factory floor automation and the IT teams are responsible for the IT system connectivity and the IT infrastructure.

  • Collaborate on one easy-to-use platform
  • Develop with graphical building blocks connected with Drag-and-drop
  • Apply any Custom Functionality or Machine Learning
  • Limit dependencies on single individuals

Explore the Flow Studio →

The evolution of the Message Bus or Enterprise Service Bus for Industry 4.0

The communication layer of yesterday has evolved and has now become intelligent. Crosser adds transformation and Intelligent Logic between the data end-points enabling a long list of Industry 4.0 use cases, including: 

  • Smart data collection
  • Machine and process insights
  • Machine to Machine automation
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • Vision Inspection

The transition into the world of Industry 4.0 is a journey that doesn’t require a change of the ISA-95 Stack but rather complementing the the existing architecture with a flexible real-time analytics and integration layer in the edge. Adding business value one use case at the time.

Learn more how Crosser Edge Analytics solution can help you.

Read more about How Crosser Complements OSIsoft PI System →

About the author

Goran Appelquist (Ph.D) | CTO

Göran has 20 years experience in leading technology teams. He’s the lead architect of our end-to-end solution and is extremely focused in securing the lowest possible Total Cost of Ownership for our customers.

"Hidden Lifecycle (employee) cost can account for 5-10 times the purchase price of software. Our goal is to offer a solution that automates and removes most of the tasks that is costly over the lifecycle.

My career started in the academic world where I got a PhD in physics by researching large scale data acquisition systems for physics experiments, such as the LHC at CERN. After leaving academia I have been working in several tech startups in different management positions over the last 20 years.

In most of these positions I have stood with one foot in the R&D team and another in the product/business teams. My passion is learning new technologies, use it to develop innovative products and explain the solutions to end users, technical or non-technical."