Connectivity and interoperability have become extremely important in the context of the digitised industry, being responsible for connecting products, machines, people and the environment in a single intelligent manufacturing system.
The integration of these with information technologies has led companies to achieve levels of efficiency never before seen. Information technologies support the storage, collection and analysis of data while operating technologies support the creation of physical value.
It is the merger between the two that gives rise to the much sought-after ‘cyberphysical systems’, made possible by a central system that controls and monitors operations at all levels.
What does cyberphysical systems consist of?
A cyberphysical system is an integration of systems of diverse nature whose main objective is to control and interact with a physical process and, through feedback, adapt to new conditions in real time.
Cyber-physical systems are normally connected to each other and in turn connected to the virtual world of global digital networks. They are created at the intersection of networks, cybernetic computing and physical processes.
Therefore, their main characteristics are:
- The ability to relate to physical objects in order to monitor and/or control them
- The use of information available in the virtual world.
- In some cases, the ability to learn and evolve.
How cyberphysical systems it work?
Cyberphysical systems are a set of interactive systems supported by intelligent machines which, coordinated and controlled by a central entity, send operational information to qualified workers.
In this way, production operations run under self-control while engineers work on potential problems and possible solutions directly in this cybernetic replica.
Two types of actions are carried out:
- Planned actions: process automation, predictive maintenance, etc.
- Corrective decisions: process optimisation, problem solving, etc.
How to implement cyberphysical systems?
In order for cyberphysical systems to add value to manufacturing processes, there are four steps that must be considered when implementing them:
- Connection: the main source for an intelligent factory is the data generated. It is essential to have a hyper-connected, data-intensive factory, based on a 100% secure, industrial-grade 5G network.
- Cyber level: interconnected objects must be implemented in a studied way that, through algorithms, process the data and convert it into information.
- Cognition: machine signals must be processed to convert them into information and be able to compare this information with other results. At this level, the machine monitors and diagnoses its own faults, becoming aware of potential problems.
- Configuration: the machines adapt their operation based on the information. They can modify their operation according to workloads or malfunctions.
Preparing for cyberphysical systems involves investment in infrastructure and in both physical and technological processes. The main key challenges to be considered before embarking on such projects are the following:
- Network performance, in terms of latency, bandwidth and reliability, greatly impacts the interactions between the different components of a cyberphysical system, and the ability to execute parallel tasks.
- The need for a network platform that is sufficiently flexible and under control. When it comes to adapting to different processes and identifying problems and causes in a sensitive way (complex systems can trigger many failures from a single one).
- Necessary characteristics of the systems: they must be self-configuring, self-adjusting and self-optimising, to achieve greater agility, flexibility and profitability.
Innovation in cyberphysical systems is based on input from many disciplines and requires a skilled workforce to support and sustain its development. It has the potential to change and improve the industry while addressing many critical challenges.
With the increase in the number of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), the role of cyberphysical systems (CPS) has changed and evolved, increasing productivity, efficiency and economic benefits.
This integration includes advances in real-time processing, detection and actuation between IoT systems and physical domains and provides capabilities for system analysis of the cybernetic and physical structures involved. The key to these systems today is artificial cognition, defined as artificial intelligence in the networking of people, processes, data and things. From this integration comes all the added value that cyberphysical systems possess.
Your journey with Nexus Integra
Nexus Integra is the ultimate industrial technology platform that will guide your company and transform its business ecosystem. The integrated operations platform Nexus Integra will help you to connect, integrate and standardise the data of the productive process to have a global operations framework, unifying all the processes in the company.
We provide a complete solution that offers a different way of introducing digital transformation in your business. Lead the change from the inside using Nexus Integra as a facilitator of a global operations and monitoring environment for large scale industrial asset management.