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The Smart Electronic Factory (SEF) association, founded in 2014, is now gaining another strong partner, the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, Systems Engineering and Image Evaluation IOSB . SEF is testing specific Industry 4.0 implementations in Limburg with a focus on the electronics industry. The Fraunhofer concept SecurePlugandWork , in turn, can make older existing systems suitable for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as part of a retrofit process and relies on future-proof open standards such as AutomationML and OPC UA . As part of the cooperation, research will be extended to the fields of human-machine interaction and IT security.

It will take quite some time before industrial systems from the time prior to digitization have to be integrated into Industry 4.0 concepts. This is particularly true of the financially strained medium-sized companies sector, which is SEF’s main target group. Therefore, numerous efforts are being made to modify the still suitable old machines with an IIoT upgrade under the slogan “retrofit.” Exchange formats such as AutomationML and OPC UA play a central role. Corresponding concepts range from the SmartBridge (sensors) from Pepperl+Fuchs to the fully-fledged Bosch Rexroth IoT platform . An intelligent migration solution was recently presented by the engineering software provider Aucotec .