Do you have questions on the topic of digitization, Industry 4.0, and the solutions provided by KEBA? Here, we have collected answers to the most frequently asked questions for you.

What is commonly understood by Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 means the intelligent networking and autonomous control of the production resources and the planning and control systems in the goods-producing sector.
RWTH Aachen University in Germany has developed an Industry 4.0 Maturity Index in cooperation with prominent partners. Its purpose is to help organizations identify their current status and use it as a basis to derive targets for their own development path towards Industry 4.0. The Maturity Index includes four levels and takes a holistic view of an organization's entire value creation process from development, logistics and production to service and sales.

What is commonly understood by the cloud?

The cloud is a network of computer systems that are connected through the internet and that together provide resources and services. Users can use these resources and services by requesting them through the internet; these resources and services do not need to be available on the users’ own computers or on local networks. Cloud services can encompass data storage, databases, applications and computing power. There are many providers of cloud services, including some of the biggest and well-known companies in the IT industry. These providers offer a multitude of services, such as virtual machines, data storage, databases, networking and security features, development and analysis tools, and many more. There are also many smaller providers offering specialized services, such as solutions for the industrial sector.

Will OPC UA supplant EtherCat as communication standard?

It is unlikely that OPC UA will completely supplant EtherCAT. Both technologies have their individual strengths and areas of application. EtherCAT is an Ethernet-based field bus system specializing in the fast, reliable transmission of data in automation engineering. It is particularly well suited to applications that place high demands on real-time abilities and is widely used in industrial automation. OPC UA (Unified Architecture) is an open standard for the communication between devices and systems in automation engineering. It can work via Ethernet as well as other network types such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee or Bluetooth and offers enhanced security and data modeling abilities. OPC UA is more versatile and can be used for a broad range of applications including cloud integration and the connection of IT and OT systems. For this reason, it is likely that OPC UA and EtherCAT will continue to be used side by side, depending on the requirements of the specific situation.

What is the difference between condition monitoring and predictive maintenance?

Condition monitoring (CM) refers to the monitoring of the condition of machines and systems. Such solutions are able to detect critical events and indicate them in a suitable manner.
Predictive Maintenance (PdM) is, in a sense, based on condition monitoring. It predicts risks based on the collected experience values and thus allows for the optimal planning of maintenance operations. The difference, then, is in the interpretation. The data basis (CM) is used to make a prediction (PdM).

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