The topics of platform economy and digitalisation began making an impact on industry some years ago as part of the overall concept of Industry 4.0. But successful scaling and implementation of new business models have been hampered thus far by the heterogeneity of industrial components and systems. The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance was started in an effort to accelerate the creation of value on the journey to digitalisation. The objective of this new alliance is to establish an open ecosystem and framework for interoperability between vendors. It enables IT and OT vendors to engage in open dialogue and generate common customer value. Software AG will position itself in the segments of IoT Connectivity, Open Edge Computing and as a Hybrid Integration Operator.
The positive effects of the digital transformation on production and logistics processes across companies and the establishment of the first digital business models have already been successfully tried and tested in the process industry and in discrete manufacturing. But the variety of different protocols, standards and frameworks is a hindrance to platform-based scaling and monetisation approaches.
In response to these experiences, well-known and powerful IT and OT organisations such as ifm electronic, Beckhoff, SAP, KUKA, Hilscher, Endress+Hauser and Multivac have partnered to drive cross-vendor standardisation of digitalisation projects in production and logistics. Their proviso is “One and Open.”
More than 21 manufacturing and software companies now belong to the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. Together, they are developing open, compatible and standardised solutions for industrial customers.
According to Bernd Gross, Software AG’s chief technology officer, “The members of the alliance have agreed on an open and pragmatic approach to ensure interoperability for industrial automation (Industry 4.0). This approach puts customer value front and centre. The interplay between IT and OT requires multi-vendor interoperability. That is the only way factories in the manufacturing and process industries can reap the benefits of Industry 4.0. The open standards-based approach is the perfect fit for our philosophy, Freedom as a Service.”
Dr. Stefan Sigg, Software AG’s chief product officer, added, “Distributed environment interoperability and connectivity are essential to an open Industry 4.0 environment. We look forward to contributing our expertise and experience in these fields to the alliance’ discussions and projects.”
Click here to learn more about the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance.