04 Cover story UPDATE 1|18 inexpensive, although it was not possible to simply adopt hardware from the offi ce environment just like that. However, products were quickly launched on the market that were able to cope with the ambient conditions of a production facility. Ethernet satisfi ed almost all requirements, except those of one fi eld: Ethernet is not deterministic. This means that it is not possible to predict when a sent data packet will arrive at the recipient. In offi ce applications, this is not a problem, since it does not matter if data arrives at a printer a few tenths of a second sooner or later. This is not the case in automation. The communication of data between sensors, the controller and actuators must be precisely timed. Certain sequences, for example the movement of the individual axes of a machining center, must be synchronized with microsecond precision. Even the smallest deviations can lead to collisions and severe machine damage. To be able to satisfy these demands, various extensions were developed to the Ethernet standard. Profi net, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, Powerlink, Sercos, and CC-Link IE are the most widely used Industrial Ethernet standards today. These solutions have proven themselves in practice, but Industrial Ethernet has not been able to fulfi ll the promise of a unifi ed, open standard. Second attempt at a uniform standard The idea of a unifi ed, manufacturer- independent, real-time-capable Ethernet standard for industry is again being addressed today. The starting point for this is AVB (Audio Video Bridging), from which the IEEE Time- Sensitive Networking Task Group was created in 2012. In order to enable real-time control, various standards were developed under the overarching IEEE 802.1Q standardization. These include the reservation of transmission bandwidths, diff erent priority classes for diff erent data streams, and time synchronization for hard real-time requirements. Together, these standards enable Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN). Phoenix Contact and a number of other industrial automation companies rely on TSN as a vendor-independent, open standard: it should replace the existing Industrial Ethernet versions. Managed Switches ensure the reliable transmission of data in Ethernet networks
UPDATE 1|18 Cover story 05 Whether these hopes will be fulfi lled remains to be seen. On the one hand, there have been enough examples throughout the history of technology where neutral standards, despite many advantages for the market, have not been successful. On the other hand, the current Industrial Ethernet standards are well established, and innovation cycles within industry are considerably longer than in the consumer sector. Ethernet itself has needed approximately 20 years to take over the established fi eldbuses. According to market studies, it was not until 2017 that Ethernet was installed in more industrial applications than fi eldbus nodes. 3 The triumphant progression of Ethernet should continue unabated. The IEEE 802.3cg working group is developing a new Ethernet standard which enables the transmission of 10 Mbps over a two-wire line including optional power supply. This technology, designated as APL (Advanced Physical Layer), is also intended to meet the requirements of potentially explosive areas. This would open up new applications in the process industry to Ethernet, because the traditional two-wire connection could be retained for fi eld devices. Wireless networks The data transmission of the future could, however, do without cabling for the most part. In the Tacnet 4.0 working group, companies such as Phoenix Contact are working together with industry associations and research institutes on a “tactile Internet”. With this, response times of less than one millisecond should be possible in the future 5G mobile network standard. Therefore, 5G could be used for data transmission in Industrie 4.0 applications. The ability to control machines or robots in hazardous work environments or over long distances is particularly attractive. 3 HMS Industrial Networks “Industrial Ethernet is now bigger than ﬁeldbuses,” 2018 Data as a raw material It is often stated that data is the new oil, the raw material that drives the economy of the future. The emphasis here should be on raw material because on its own, data is not particularly useful. A data packet that conveys a value of 35.61 does not tell us much. To be able to use it, we must know which unit this value has, where it comes from, when it was generated, and how it relates to other pieces of data in context. After all, in the networked factory, the data value is processed in various ways. It is used to control the axis drive in CNC control, it is displayed graphically on the operator panel, and it may also be used as a limit value to send a warning message via SMS to a service technician. Furthermore, data is compared in the production controller in order that statements on the utilization of the production line can be made. It is therefore not suffi cient to send data via a uniform network standard such as Ethernet, it must also be made available in a format that can be understood by all devices. In terms of a common language, an ever increasing number of companies are relying on OPC UA. This is a machine-to-machine communication protocol and data model that cannot just transmit data, but can also describe it semantically. Therefore, understandable messages are being transmitted, rather than just bits and bytes. The raw material, data, is refi ned into something that can be used in practice — information. By combining this capability with TSN, APL or 5G, a uniform, open network standard via which all devices can communicate in one language becomes reality. Thus uniform, open data exchange from the sensor all the way through to the cloud is a perfectly realistic vision. But whether or not this will actually become reality remains to be seen.
06 Technology UPDATE 1|18 5G wins New mobile network standard on the way Smart city, smart factory, smart grid, smart home, smartphone — smart everything. With everything becoming smarter, more data and information must be transmitted. There are not just more devices capable of communication, more bandwidth is also required. And not just to the next router or access point — the issue is mobile network communication. Without cables and as fast as possible. 5G is the magic word. This next — that is to say fifth — generation of mobile network communication can exploit the potential of Industrie 4.0 (I4.0), the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and cloud services. The first field trials are already underway: the German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom is testing mobile network data transmission via 5G in Berlin. The data streams from the radio masts in the four radio cells race to the receiving devices at speeds of up to an impressive two gigabits per second — i.e., 250 Mbps. With Nokia, Deutsche Telekom has launched 5G field trials for industrial requirements in the Port of Hamburg. The Olympic Games held in South Korea in February were marketed as being the launch, and 5G was the dominant theme at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona both this year and last. At the same time, 4G is by no means exhausted, and is far from being available everywhere. The first ground station of the fourth generation was commissioned in Germany in 2010. LTE transmits at a maximum of approximately 19 Mbps, LTE Advanced has already reached 125 Mbps. The 5G network is expected to reach ten times this speed, while at the same time having latencies of less than one millisecond. Applications using 5G will therefore be practically real-time-capable. By no means easy The specifications and standardizations are being developed diligently. According to optimistic estimations, these will be available in 2020. In addition to technical issues — such as the range of the wireless signals and suitable frequencies — there are political challenges at international level in terms of regulation, and economic ones in terms of investment. Optimistic estimations assume that a well- developed 5G network will be available within Europe — at least in large cities and metropolitan areas — by 2025. The Council of the European Union has agreed upon this. Because 5G will subsume various networks, technologies, and applications, it is also a type of mega-network; a network of networks for the wireless communication of the future. For professional use — such as in industrial production and in transportation infrastructures — many requirements are higher than for video
08 Technology UPDATE 1|18 Communication needs rules Data transmission standards for Industrial Ethernet Industrie 4.0, Industrial Internet Consortium, Made in China 2025 — three initiatives with a similar vision: to shape the intelligently networked industrial world of tomorrow. However, the emerging Internet of Things not only has to be developed physically and technically, but also normatively. Ethernet plays an important role here. The term Industrie 4.0, coined in Germany, and the American Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are the next logical step in the development of industrial production. The drivers behind these trends are technological developments that are leading to lower production costs, smaller sizes, and greater performance. The result? Previously costly technologies such as computer processors become aff ordable for the mass market. And, because of the increased quantities, manufacturers and users can exploit further economies of scale. More items than people Development is continuing to accelerate, with analysts predicting that in the year 2020 there will be nearly 20 billion (IDC, 2016), almost 30 billion (Gartner Inc., 2017) or even up to 50 billion (CISCO IBSG, 2011) IT-networked “things”. Even the most cautious forecast implies that in just two years, there will be almost three times as many devices that communicate with each other on this planet as there are people. Just as evolutionary, albeit delayed in relation to technological developments, is the normative description of communication devices, media, and languages — to a certain extent, the set of rules of communication. Industrial Ethernet has been a fi xed component part of this set of rules at least since the introduction of real-time- capable data transmission protocols such as Profi net, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT. Ethernet provides good prerequisites for the stable networking of decentralized fi eld devices and superordinate IT structures, as well as real-time networking over long distances. One of the greatest advantages is the application- neutral structure of the specifi cations that cover the hardware and software. Via Ethernet, Standardization 0101110 0101001 System status: OK 0101110 0101001 0101110 0101001 Stato del sistema: bene 0101110 0101001 0101110
10 UPDATE 1|18 Simply intelligent and secure Making complex networks manageable Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things bring with them many advantages for automation specialists. But as we all know, there are two sides to every story: the continuous local and global data flow makes modern networks increasingly more complex and more difficult to manage. Intelligent and easy-to-operate hardware and software solutions are a great help here. Due to the growing number of Ethernet- capable components, the risk of undesired or unauthorized data traffic in industrial networks is increasing considerably. The major challenge for systems manufacturers, therefore, lies in planning and maintaining ever larger networks, and protecting them from unauthorized access. Furthermore, technological trends such as cloud-based solutions, IT security, the use of smart devices, and the need for remote maintenance solutions have an effect on the complexity of the networks. Nevertheless, everything also needs to be manageable for both for the systems manufacturer and the operator. Complex devices that feature a multitude of functions must also be easy to configure and operate. In terms of infrastructure components, the Unmanaged Switches that were previously used as interfaces between the network devices, because they are cost-effective and easy to manage, no longer satisfy the demands of modern networks. The requirements associated with the increasing need for communication are too high without mechanisms for network diagnostics or reducing the data load. Significant reduction in labor expenditure and costs This is where Managed Switches, which include precisely these functions, come into their own. Furthermore, these devices — such as the FL Switch 2000 — contain redundancy mechanisms for loop suppression and also support functions of the Profinet and EtherNet/ IP transmission protocols. They are therefore ideally suited for use in modern automation applications. To minimize configuration outlay, most Managed Switches now enable devices to be configured via SD card as well as via browser-based web-based management and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). The configurations created can be replicated as often as necessary with the SD card. So despite the large range of functions, configuration and commissioning work remains manageable for the operator. The use of appropriate software
UPDATE 1|18 Technology 11 tools makes commissioning even easier. Network management software, such as the FL Network Manager, provides functions like initial device configuration, monitoring during ongoing operation, and user-friendly firmware and configuration management. This means the firmware of all components of the same type can be updated simultaneously. Administration of the device configuration in the network is just as easy. The operator can save all configuration files locally in a single step and reload them onto the same device or load them onto a replacement device whenever necessary. This reduces the labor and costs involved in reconfiguration. Simplified definition of firewall rules Protecting the growing need for communication against unauthorized access while still providing opportunities for authenticated remote access presents another challenge. Smart devices and Internet communication in particular are proving to be a potential risk for malicious activity. Experience shows that it is not the spectacular cyber attack that poses the greatest danger to the automation network, but the myriad of small, self-induced changes in the system. This includes, for example, a controller replaced by a substitute device with different programming from the original PLC. If such changes accumulate over time, this will jeopardize the availability of the network. Monitoring software such as SilentDefense from SecurityMatters supports the analysis and hardening of complex industrial networks here. With SilentDefense, the operator has an overview of which devices in the network are transmitting which content to which other devices when, and how. In this way, the unauthorized transmission of data becomes visible and can be prevented. Once the tool has examined the communication relationships and any unwanted connections have been deactivated, the network is protected by the FL mGuard security appliances. The communication relationships identified as being correct by SilentDefense are transmitted as firewall configuration data records directly to the security devices installed in a decentralized system. This makes it much easier for the user to define firewall rules and prevents carelessly maintained rules. To ensure that service personnel can nevertheless access the systems easily and securely via the Internet, encrypted remote maintenance solutions can also be implemented with the FL mGuard. Jan Aulenberg Product Manager Network Technology Web code: #1551 and #1563 Secure remote maintenance Use of driverless transport systems Secure connection to the production network Use of smart devices Increasing use of Industrial Ethernet Along with the increased number of Ethernet devices, wireless solutions for secure remote maintenance and smart devices are making the production network ever more complex
UPDATE 1|18 Interview 13 are worried about embarrassing ourselves. I simply lead people back to what they do best: to live out their own temperament without artificiality. That gives them the greatest credibility in the eyes of others. UPDATE: Can people in general be influenced by body language? Stefan Verra: We usually believe that when we say something, the other person perceives it in exactly the way we said it. However, it is only our body language that gives meaning to our words. Whether at the doctor's office or the auto shop: when they make a diagnosis, your gut instinct tells you whether you believe them or not. Therefore, this is much more important when it comes to making a decision than what was actually said. So if you want to be perceived as being competent, you have to signal reliability. UPDATE: How do you do that? Stefan Verra: First of all, you should make yourself visible by standing up to your full height. A crouched posture radiates little reliability. At the same time, three body parts in particular should be visible: the eyes, the mouth, and the hands. We draw a large amount of information on other people from these parts of the body. And if these body parts in particular are hidden, we become skeptical. You may know the feeling you get when talking to someone wearing sunglasses. Even if you know this person well, you cannot help feeling uncomfortable. The origin of all this lies in the sensorimotor cortex, the part of the brain that is crucial for movement and feeling. I describe this in great detail in my book “Hey, your body is talking!” UPDATE: We often hear about making a good first impression. Are there any tricks for doing this? Stefan Verra: Whether it's a job interview, a customer discussion or a presentation: aim to win favor in the very first moment. This is because the human brain stem decides at lightning speed whether it wants to have more to do with you or wants to be rid of you as soon as possible. Those who think that relying in the first moment only on competence and “being taken seriously” will be enough are all too easily judged to be overbearing. This also applies in our private lives. Smiling, with a loose — that is to say asymmetrical — posture with some movement seems more accessible than the upright posture of a Prussian soldier with a serious expression. Those who try to play smart with their body language too early will be rejected. UPDATE: In conflict situations, it is often difficult to find the right words. Can the situation also be defused by our own behavior or posture? Stefan Verra: In conflict situations, there are two things to note: 1. At what point does the other party begin to change their body language? Do they start to lean back, do they turn away more and more or is their posture closing up? These could be signs of an impending conflict. In this case, it is very important to switch strategies. 2. Change your own body language. Much too often we begin to show signals of being attacked even before the actual conflict. Stand up, walk to the coffee machine with your counterpart and continue to chat while walking. Such changes defuse the situation considerably. UPDATE: Do these signals apply in all cultures? Stefan Verra: Yes, everywhere. Of course, there are differences in eating habits, welcome rituals and the like. Basically, however, body language is the same everywhere. I speak in front of more than 50,000 people each year on all continents of this planet. It is just wonderful to see that everybody smiles, laughs, and has “aha!” moments in exactly the same parts. I send tips via e-mail once a week, and these go out to every corner of the globe. After all, everybody everywhere understands a fist to be a fist and a smile to be a smile. UPDATE: Thank you very much for talking to us. Seminar and evening event dates are available at www.stefanverra.com
14 Technology UPDATE 1|18 The LAN cable as a power line How IP-based surveillance cameras can be supplied with energy efficiently In many cities, there are now very few public areas that are not monitored by cameras. In remote or difficult to access locations, however, installing them is difficult. Components such as PoE injectors ensure that power lines do not need to be laid. Exact figures are not available, but Great Britain appears to be the country with the most surveillance cameras. It is estimated that approximately two million devices have been installed. According to an article published in Die WELT, a German national daily newspaper, on January 1, 2017, statistically speaking every Londoner is captured on camera approximately 300 times per day. These cameras are located, for example, in streets, tunnels, schools, hospitals, train stations, airports, on bridges, and in industrial buildings. They are used for traffic management, monitoring and control, and as deterrents and in police investigations, to name just a few of their functions. In order that operators can view images in video control rooms, the surveillance cameras must be supplied with electricity and integrated into the network. PoE technology is ideal for this. Supply with up to 60 W The manufacturer-independent IEEE standard has been established in industrial applications for more than ten years now. Because the energy for the device is transported via the data line, electricity cables do not need to be laid, which reduces wiring outlay. The power required is worked out electrically between the powered device (PD)and the power sourcing equipment (PSE). The supply voltage is then fed in at a transmission speed of 100 Mbps via the unused wire pair of the eight-wire Ethernet cable (Mode B). As an alternative, a phantom feed with a data rate of up to 1 Gbps is possible (Mode A). The electricity for the energy supply is thus superimposed on the data signal. The PSE can be a PoE switch (endspan) or a PoE injector (midspan). There are currently two versions of the PoE specification. A maximum of 15.4 W is Saving costs and space on the DIN rail The new PoE injectors feature an integrated patch panel function for the first time. The previously standard RJ45 sockets for both Ethernet ports have now been extended with terminal technologies for the connection of the PoE-conducting field line. Thanks to the simple way in which the line is connected to the injector, there is no longer any need for the complex installation of an RJ45 connector using special tools. The positioning of a separate patch panel with a connecting patch cable is surplus to requirements now too. This saves costs and space on the DIN rail.
16 UPDATE 1|18 The Ricola production facility produces a total of seven billion candies each year Who invented it? Ricola uses Proficloud to transmit measured values The processing and production of foodstuffs is subject to strict legal regulations. If the goods are then to be sold on the American market, the high requirements of the FDA are also to be satisfied. This applies to Swiss Herb Candy and other Ricola candies too. The Proficloud enables the relevant measured values to be forwarded. Founded in 1930 as the Confiserie Richterich & Compagnie in Laufen in the north of Switzerland, Ricola AG is now in its third generation of family ownership. As a pioneer in natural herb cultivation, the company exports 90 percent of its herbal specialties to more than 50 countries. The Ricola herbs are grown by approximately 100 herb farmers in five regions in the Swiss mountains. A total of 1,400 tonnes of herbs are processed annually; these herbs must be stored and processed under optimum conditions. Therefore, both the storage and the production facilities are located in Laufen, albeit in different districts. This decentralized arrangement means that essential information must be exchanged as cost-effectively as possible between the two sites. Furthermore, the solution must be integrated into the existing automation technology. Daniel Bhend (Senior Director Technology), in collaboration with the integrator Kundert Automation AG and the experts from Phoenix Contact Switzerland, has come up with an efficient solution: a combination of standardized communication protocols for automation technology and the Internet is used to exchange data over long distances. Developing a complex network infrastructure … In practical terms, information on the condition of the storage rooms located some 15 kilometers from the production facility must be transmitted to the central distributed control system (DCS) in the administration building. The recorded measured values should also be transmitted via Profinet protocol to the distributed control system. Therefore, using the Proficloud is an ideal solution, because a suitable application consists of at least one Proficloud coupler, Proficloud device, and Profinet controller as standard. The Proficloud coupler connects the local Profinet network to the Proficloud via two Ethernet interfaces. While one interface is
UPDATE 1|18 On site 17 used to establish a connection to the local Profinet system in the production facility, the second Ethernet interface is used to establish a connection to the Internet. The coupler then initializes a connection with the Proficloud automatically, and is ready for use after a short amount of time. The same applies to Proficloud devices, which also connect to the Internet easily and to the Proficloud automatically. At Ricola, the decentralized AXC Cloud-Pro Proficloud controllers acquire the data from the many temperature sensors distributed throughout the storage rooms via alignable I/O modules of the Axioline F product range, and transmit this via Internet to the Proficloud coupler. “By using the Proficloud, we do not have to develop a complex network infrastructure,” explains Daniel Bhend. The system integrator commissioned by Ricola, Kundert Automation AG, simply had to register the Proficloud devices in the Proficloud using their UUIDs (Universal Unique Identifiers) and assign them to the central Proficloud coupler. UUIDs are used for the clear identification of information in decentralized systems and thus ensure secure communication via the Proficloud. Upon registration, the Profinet system records the TLS-secured data transmission via the Proficloud. … and a local weather station is not necessary At Ricola, along with the capture and transmission of measured values from the storage rooms, the latest weather data is also sent to the DCS in order that this can be added to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) inspection documents. Ricola could have built a weather station for this, which would have had to be set and connected to the PLC. It is easier to use the Weather cloud service, with which the relevant information can be retrieved from the weather service via the Internet. This can then be used by the controller as Profinet data. The Proficloud service is treated as a virtual Proficloud device in the Proficloud system. Bhend and his team use the input process data and warehouse coordinates to determine for which location the weather information is to be retrieved. Because communication of the Proficloud devices is limited to an outbound connection, Internet subscribers cannot initiate an undesired connection to them, which makes it impossible to manipulate temperature data, for example. Arno Martin Fast Product Manager Proficloud Web code: #0949 The AXC Cloud-Pro controller and the aligned I/O modules capture data from the temperature sensors that are distributed throughout several storage rooms
18 Technology UPDATE 1|18 The implementation of Industrie 4.0 demands secure wireless LAN communication Wireless connection Individual passwords regulate network access Previously, machine networks could be protected against malware and malicious activity easily, because only a limited number of persons had access to them. In the age of Industrie 4.0, this is fundamentally changing. How can a WLAN wireless network be protected effectively against unauthorized access? In the past, it was sufficient to lock the control cabinet; today, people can even penetrate the machine network from the outside without being noticed if they have sufficient range. One reason for this is that many network devices are often only protected by the manufacturer's or a machine-builder-specific default password. This also applies to the wireless LAN password (WPA-PSK), which protects access to the machine network via the WLAN access point. Those who know the passwords, or at least where they are stored, have unimpeded access to all devices within the network. The password must be renewed at the latest after a user or an external agent has been granted access to the network via a tablet PC, even temporarily. Smart devices remember the password and connect with the network automatically as soon as they are within range — even if the access is not wanted or no longer allowed. The machine control system takes over automated network administration In an IT network, users are assigned their individual passwords centrally by an administrator and directed to the network devices via a server. If the access rights of a user change, the administrator adjusts these in the central server. Such a procedure cannot be implemented in machine networks. In this case, the machine control system could take on the role of network administration. This approach is both cost-neutral and practical, and provides the machine builder with full control and flexibility. The WLAN access point must, however, have a Web API interface via which the machine PLC can control the access point during runtime by transmitting HTTP GET
UPDATE 1|18 Technology 19 MIMO technology supports reliable communication In a fully networked factory, driverless transport systems (DTS) deliver materials and parts to the machines. Communication between the fleet manager, the DTS, and the processing stations is predominantly via WLAN 802.11. To ensure fast and reliable data transmission, the WLAN 1100 Access Points are equipped with MIMO (multiple input multiple output) antenna technology. In combination with two special antennas integrated into the wireless modules, this enables the parallel distribution of several WLAN signals on the same channel, meaning that a higher level of signal availability can be achieved. messages. Furthermore, the component can be configured easily via the controller. The WLAN access points of the WLAN 1100 series have a suitable interface. If the user now wants to connect to the machine network via a tablet PC, he registers the access request via an HMI terminal, for example. The machine control system then generates a random one-time password for this purpose, before configuring and activating a virtual access point in the WLAN 1100 via an HTTP GET message. The one-time password is now issued to the user via the HMI terminal — for example, as a scannable QR code. Once the connection is no longer required, the controller deactivates the virtual access point. Therefore, knowledge of the WLAN password and its automatic storage in the tablet PC no longer presents a security risk, because a new one- time password is generated and used the for establishing the next connection. IP filter limits device access The WLAN 1100 provides further options for easy and secure access to the machine network. Up to two virtual access points can be created simultaneously with individual WLAN security settings. In addition to a unique WLAN password, the machine operator can use a configurable IP filter to limit the number of parallel connections for each access point and restrict access to installed devices. In this way, he can provide the service technician with complete network access, for example, while simultaneously providing the machine user with access restricted just to viewing the visualization server. A port-based DHCP server allocates individual and independent IP addresses to the WLAN clients for each virtual WLAN access point. Jürgen Weczerek Product Manager Network Web code: #1532
22 News UPDATE 1|18 Complete and cross- system integration and the use of data and data standards is demonstrated using the example of switchgear engineering Greater productivity through digitalization Technology network “Smart Engineering and Production 4.0” for switching device engineering How can industrial engineering and production processes be completely digitalized? Using the example of a switching device, visitors to the Hannover Messe can experience first- hand what an Industrie 4.0 highly automated production facility looks like. At the SEAP booth in Hall 8, Stand D28, Eplan, Rittal, and Phoenix Contact present new findings for developing an administration shell for switching device engineering. In Europe alone, approximately one million large control cabinets are brought into circulation every year. As part of the Smart Engineering and Production 4.0 (SEAP 4.0) technology network, the three leading solution providers are using a real use case to show how productivity can be increased in switching device engineering. Here, five stations depict the essential processes throughout the value added chain: • The digital provision of component data in the form of a digital part • The engineering process, in which the digital twin of the control cabinet is created • Conventional production • The intelligent manufacturing facility, which works with the digital twin data • An augmented-reality application, which explains how systems can be tested and certified more easily and more quickly in the future Productivity can only be increased through manufacturer-independent standards for data and its transmission. In the field of communication, the technology network therefore relies on standardized information models and protocols such as AutomationML and OPC UA. Here, a semantic description is necessary in order that Industrie 4.0 concepts can be implemented. Based on the results of the ZVEI project openAAS (open Asset Administration Shell), the three companies are therefore working on defining a specific administration shell for switching device engineering, which can then be used as the reference solution. This will enable Industry 4.0 components such as networked products, modules, machines or entire factories — the assets — to interact directly with one another.