Evolving the Digital Industrial Infrastructure for Production: Steps Taken and the Road Ahead


The Internet of Production (IoP) leverages concepts such as digital shadows, data lakes, and a World Wide Lab (WWL) to advance today’s production. Consequently, it requires a technical infrastructure that can support the agile deployment of these concepts and corresponding high-level applications, which, e.g., demand the processing of massive data in motion and at rest. As such, key research aspects are the support for low-latency control loops, concepts on scalable data stream processing, deployable information security, and semantically rich and efficient long-term storage. In particular, such an infrastructure cannot continue to be limited to machines and sensors, but additionally needs to encompass networked environments: production cells, edge computing, and location-independent cloud infrastructures. Finally, in light of the envisioned WWL, i.e., the interconnection of production sites, the technical infrastructure must be advanced to support secure and privacy-preserving industrial collaboration. To evolve today’s production sites and lay the infrastructural foundation for the IoP, we identify five broad streams of research: (1) adapting data and stream processing to heterogeneous data from distributed sources, (2) ensuring data interoperability between systems and production sites, (3) exchanging and sharing data with different stakeholders, (4) network security approaches addressing the risks of increasing interconnectivity, and (5) security architectures to enable secure and privacy-preserving industrial collaboration. With our research, we evolve the underlying infrastructure from isolated, sparsely networked production sites toward an architecture that supports high-level applications and sophisticated digital shadows while facilitating the transition toward a WWL.

Internet of Production: Fundamentals, Applications and Proceedings