Cross-sectional project: Intelligent networking

Products and production systems cannot automatically interact with their environment and communicate with other systems. When new components are connected to a production unit, for instance, the entire system must be manually readjusted, which involves considerable effort. Things could work differently, however – as demonstrated by USB sticks, which autonomously deploy as a new component when connected to a computer (plug-and-play). The intention is to extend this functionality to devices, machinery and production units, which requires individual components to autonomously analyze their own status and environment. Intelligent networking enables autonomous interaction between components. 

The aim of the research project is to develop plug-and-play functionalities for intelligent devices, machinery and production units by devising hardware and software components and making them available on a platform. The requirements that must be considered above all here are interaction between different components, reliability, and the capacity for integration into resource-efficient devices.

This is accomplished by developing reference architecture – a software template with standardized terminology and interface adaptations – to support various interaction scenarios in dynamic and cooperative networks. In addition to this, reusable communication patterns for networking, mechanisms for self-configuration and processes for information compression are developed and compiled in an implementation platform. The project results are then validated by companies in the Leading-Edge Cluster and converted into marketable products and production systems such as intelligent automation devices.

The project results make it possible for individual components to interact with and autonomously adapt to their environment in the future. Due to simplified commissioning and monitoring, this reduces workloads for operating personnel and allows devices and equipment to be run cost-effectively and reliably. The results are made accessible to other manufacturing companies – e.g. those involved in mechanical engineering, the electrical industry and the automotive supply industry – through transfer projects and disseminated outside the cluster by engineering firms. In addition to this, they are also integrated into new university and further education programs.

Project duration
01 July 2014 - 30 June 2017


Arbeitspaket 1: Anforderungen und Referenzanwendungen (3MB)
Arbeitspaket 2+3: Referenzarchitektur (1MB)