Smart Connectivity, Connected Infrastructure, & the…

concept,” according to IBM. This effectively decouples the components used, which is said to improve scalability by enabling a component to be replicated in a cloud service, in accordance with the workload. And because the microservice only exists while needed, it makes better use of compute resources. Agility is also improved, by allowing developers to include and evaluate new microservices independently without impacting the rest of the system. Furthermore, overall resilience increases because the system isn’t dependent on just one instance of a microservice. A microservice enables the internals of a single application to be broken up into small pieces that can be independently changed, scaled, and administered. It doesn’t define how applications talk to one another; that requires the enterprise scope of the service interfaces provided by SOA. Together they play a key role in enabling and releasing value in the IIoT. The third piece of the service-oriented puzzle that enables participation in the IIoT is the OPC UA standard for machine-to-machine communication in industrial automation. UA stands for Unified Architecture and it was developed by the OPC Foundation to improve cooperation in an industrial environment. It achieves this using an extensible service-oriented architecture that can be embedded into microcontrollers on the factory floor as easily as it can be integrated into cloud-based servers. It brings essential features to a network, such as server identification, data hierarchy, and read/write permissions.

and DCOM protocols, as well as the OPC Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). In resource-constrained devices, binary UA is recommended as it needs less compute power. Die casting is one example of a critical industrial process that could benefit from this development. Normally, proprietary interfaces to peripheral equipment do not allow information exchange between the various manufacturers involved in the cell. Using OPC UA enables fast assembly and commissioning, optimal productivity and quality monitoring, and cell participants to connect to external systems. OPC UA promises to deliver what the manufacturing automation protocol (MAP) dreamed of back in the 1980s, and way more. General Motors designed the MAP communication protocol stack to link islands of operational automation on the factory floor. OPC UA reaches higher, enabling manufacturers to plug their operating machinery into the cloud and harness data analytics and machine learning to gain visibility of machinery performance and improve uptime and efficiency.


An early demonstration of the value a service- oriented approach to Industry 4.0 came from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) services in conjunction with Fraunhofer. HPE demonstrated its Converged Plant Infrastructure, which included a virtual “Fort Knox’’ app store of cloud-based industrial services. These featured a dashboard to view, fine-tune, and optimize distributed factory operations. Another app used algorithms in the cloud to teach designated robots on the factory

OPC UA uses binary UA and XML formats to secure and exchange messages, and Microsoft’s COM


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