M A N U F A C T U R I N G
IS THERE A STANDARD FOR
Waiting for smart manufacturing
standards to develop before implementing
the Industrial Internet of
Things into your operations may not
be the most productive choice.
Smart manufacturing is called different things in
different countries: Manufacturing USA (United
States), Industrie 4.0 (Germany), China 2025
(China) or Industrie du Futur (France). The UK,
Sweden, Japan, Korea and India all have country
specific efforts as well.
What do these initiatives have in common? They
• Creating a vision for smart manufacturing.
• Using the power of digitalisation to help manufacturers
reduce capital expenditures, improve
time to market, reduce inventory and improve
• Extending existing standards to realise the
The last point is an important distinction: These
initiatives are not creating new standards — they
are classifying how best to use existing standards.
That means the groundwork for smart manufacturing,
Industrie 4.0 and other initiatives is being
done in standard developing organisations such as
the IEC, ISO, ISA, IEEE and the OPC Foundation.
These organisations are where the influence starts
and leadership takes hold.
This is particularly important as thought leaders
prepare for the G20 Digital Economy (or Group
of Twenty) in August. This international forum for
governments from 20 major economies is host to
high-level discussions of policy issues pertaining
to, among other things, global economic growth.
On the agenda is digital technology. Countries
and companies around the world are eager to
adopt digitalisation strategies because it levels the
playing field for smaller companies, allowing them
to reap the same benefits as larger firms, and
remain globally competitive and relevant.
This means if you look only at one country’s
initiative, you’ll have a limited view of the global
movement. You must look at global standards to
understand global impact.
So rather than the name of the initiative that differentiates
the work, it’s the standards behind that
initiative that make the difference.
THE TIME TO START IS NOW
For organisations hesitant to start their journeys
to smart manufacturing, don’t wait until new
standards are complete to get started.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) standards (I4.0)
will take time to come to the ideal state in which
data flows seamlessly among multi-vendor applications
But rather than see that as a reason to delay, I see
that as a reason to start now.
Industry is slow to adapt to new technologies,
mostly because replacing existing assets with new,
smart manufacturing versions can be complex
and take time. The transition should take place in
Smart manufacturing is not a moment in time. A
good strategy thinks about how to use current
standards to facilitate change that matters today
— and support future evolution.
In the case of digital industrial technology, the
highest priority is connectivity – or connecting
assets throughout the enterprise. This is the first
step in realising the value of the cloud and big
data. Then, the next priority is cybersecurity, or
helping confirm information shared via the cloud is
secure from outside threats.
WHY IT MATTERS
The Connected Enterprise capitalises on the best of
the international standards that define smart manufacturing
today. National initiatives and industry
consortia are monitored and enhanced so The
Connected Enterprise will incorporate the best of
future international standards as they emerge.
That’s going to be important when we talk about
another aspect of smart manufacturing: speed.
Speed is a challenge for everyone. International
standards that support operations technology (OT)
By Dave Vasko, director of Advanced Technology, Rockwell Automation
46 March 2018