The term Industry 4.0 comes from a combination of major innovations in the digital technology and hardware automations. But have you ever heard of cyber-physical systems? Probably not, because it’s not much populer in marketing presentations; you can come across with it at papers, mostly. Let’s have a look at them.

This blog post is produced from my senior design project; called “Application-Independent Industry 4.0 Based Connected Smart Platform” To read more about it; have a look at Industry 4.0 Platform page.

A wide definition of industry 4.0 is quoted from Hermann [1] as:

Industrie 4.0 is a collective term for technologies and concepts of value chain organization. Within the modular structured Smart Factories of Industrie 4.0, Cyber- Physical Systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the IoT, CPS communicate and cooperate with each other and humans in real time. Via the IoS, both internal and cross-organizational services are offered and utilized by participants of the value chain.

While industry 4.0 is shaping manufacturing and whole production processes, on the other hand Internet of Things solutions and devices cover not only industrial field, but also the consumer product field and common services field. According to the estimations from academicians and industry leaders, there will be 50 billion connected devices or “things” by the next decade. [2]

The fourth industrial revolution and the other technologies it brings together focus on integrating the industrial systems in a holistic way to achieve the most efficient result possible. Basically, the objective is to make a decision of an industrial system and to produce it not only with its own data sources, but also with other devices and systems with which it connects. The systems that can provide this capability are also name as a cyber-physical systems. Cyber-physical systems are the main actors of the industry 4.0 philosophy and include software systems, communication technologies, sensors / actuators, including embedded technologies, to interact with the real world. [3] A cyber-physical system within an industry 4.0 scenario can be represented as in the figure below. [3]

Cyber Physical Systems

The point where a system that takes value from being connected to a network with each other will make a difference on the quality, flexibility and capabilities of this connectivity. In this respect, between two industrial systems which have the same physical capacity and capability as each other, the 4th industrial revolution promise greater productivity to the industrial system which able to process data better and work more integrated.

Given the unlimited integration and yield that the Industry 4.0 has created in the industry, it has been seen that software and integration platforms that will bring out the most efficient industrial system by meeting the needs of production sites are a fundamental requirement for an industry 4.0 application. [5]

If any industrial system is transformed to a cyber-physical system and connected to an Industry 4.0 platform, these opportunities and needs can be achieved; [6]

When it’s looked carefully, it’s easy to see that cyber-physical systems make digital twins and other Industry 4.0 aspects possible. A cyber-physical system acts also a software component, thus it can be possible to run simulations, assumptions and tests on it.

This blog post is produced from my senior design project; called “Application-Independent Industry 4.0 Based Connected Smart Platform” To read more about it; have a look at Industry 4.0 Platform page.

The platform realized in this project is designed to meet Industry 4.0 requirements and compatibility of an industrial system. A newly established industrial system can be utilized by integrating this platform, or an existing system that is working can be integrated into this platform to achieve the possibilities of industry 4.0 approach.

[1] M. Hermann, T. Pentek, and B. Otto, “Design Principles for Industrie 4.0 Scenarios: A Literature Review,” 2015.

[2] Evans, D., (2011), The Internet of Things How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything, Cisco IBSG, White Paper.

[3] M. Törngren, F. Asplund, S. Bensalem, J. McDermid, R. Passerone, H. Pfeifer, A. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli and B. Schätz, Chapter 1- Characterization, Analysis, and Recommendations for Exploiting the Opportunities of Cyber-Physical Systems, In Intelligent Data-Centric Systems, edited by Houbing Song, Danda B. Rawat, Sabina Jeschke and Christian Brecher, Academic Press, Boston, 2017, Pages 3-14, Cyber-Physical Systems, ISBN 9780128038017

[4] N. Jazdi, “Cyber physical systems in the context of Industry 4.0,” 2014 IEEE International Conference on Automation, Quality and Testing, Robotics, Cluj-Napoca, 2014, pp. 1-4. doi: 10.1109/AQTR.2014.6857843

[5] Gröger, C. Datenbank Spektrum, (2018) 18: 5.

[6] acatech (Ed.), “Cyber-Physical Systems. Driving force for innovation in mobility, health, energy and production (acatech POSITION PAPER),” Heidelb. Springer Verlag, 2011.