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The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance has been set up by the companies Beckhoff (automation), Endress+Hauser (process technology), Hilscher (system automation), IFM (automation technology), KUKA (mechanical engineering), MULTIVAC (packaging machines), and software manufacturer SAP; other companies, including Balluff, GEBHARDT, Pepperl+Fuchs, SAMSON, and WIKA, have already joined the alliance. As the members stress, the alliance is open to all companies, which means that the list of members could well grow over the coming months. The alliance aims to avoid proprietary stand-alone solutions, and so to create a basis for the desired digital transformation in industry. In practical terms, the purpose is to set up a standardized and open ecosystem to facilitate the operation of highly automated factories and process engineering plants that work seamlessly with automated logistics and service systems.

To this end, the alliance members intend to draw on existing standards such as IO-Link , OPC UA , and RAMI . The connection to SAP software solutions should help ensure collaboration across company boundaries.