How we stand out
Being open is twofold at Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. On the one hand, we promote existing industry standards to ensure interoperability. On the other, we are open to welcoming additional OEMs as members. Your company included.
Scalability and growth
Our members are committed to developing scalable solutions that fit all enterprises big and small. Later on, this means easy upgrades as a business grows. Plus, our members accommodate everything from small pilot projects to large-scale ones that affect monumental change.
Building and keeping trust is a priority. That’s why our clear data custodianship principle puts operators in control. Each customer decides what to share, and what to keep private.
Easily leverage legacy projects and infrastructure. Our approach is compatible with brownfield solutions, securing existing investments.
Every company that bears the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance label agrees to use certain existing standards. A plus for the manufacturer and its customers. The more members we acquire and the more widespread we become, the greater our reputation worldwide.
By creating a centralized network and marketplace, members can one day seamlessly collaborate with business partners, operators, and service providers. A common standardized communication platform enables easy exchanges today.
Thanks to our open approach and zero vendor lock in, members of the alliance are able to offer their customers attractive, low-risk solutions. Operators gain peace of mind that all components work together seamlessly.
Members provide a central asset repository for operators and manufacturers to share, and to update semantic models. This eases on-boarding, integration, and collaboration.
Many united as one: we bring together several micro-ecosystems that are relevant for operators. By leveraging their individual and common strengths, we create a force that’s more than the sum of its parts.
General Alliance FAQs
Is Open Industry 4.0 alliance responsible for creating new standards?
No, Alliance will not be involved in creating any new industry standards. Alliance members will enforce embracing existing and emerging standards as relevant for their interoperable solutions.
Will Open Industry 4.0 alliance develop, deliver and sell products (if not, who will develop, deliver & sell solutions to customers)
No, Open Industry 4.0 alliance as an entity will not be involved in developing or directly selling any solutions. Open Industry 4.0 Alliance will provide the framework and guiding principles for interoperability for members. Members of the alliance will create solutions either on their own or collectively as subgroups following the framework for interoperability. In summary members will own the development, support and contractual/selling their solutions to the customer. Open industry 4.0 will support go-to-market and promoting the collective portfolio of solutions and services offered by members.
How will the members of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, as a customer / asset owner, help me simplify the challenges of creating master data for my assets?
One of the main differentiators of Open industry 4.0 alliance is principle where in members will create and make available asset model and content (e.g. manuals, etc.) in common asset repository. Also, a common cloud central will allow sharing and collaboration capabilities between OEMs and customers (operators) This helps simplify days and months of work for customers to create on the same on their own. Using Open Industry 4.0 Alliance compliant common cloud central solutions, manufacturers will be able to share these contents to be used as an installed asset/equipment master data directly. This could work in two ways
- For the customers trusted asset vendors who are already part of the alliance will have the ability to share from pre-created asset repository.
- If a customer’ asset vendor is not on the network, customers would be able to invite additional OEM vendors to join this network, so that they can populate their asset master. Also, per customers wish alliance would also support in recruiting your critical mass of vendors as members.
- Finally, customers will also have an ability to create their own master data of asset/equipment.
This asset repository and network is API enabled and can be integrated into customer backend systems to inherit additional meta data definition if needed. This whole set up and process for creating master data brings time to value and data consistency for use across industry 4.0 stack and use cases.
Does the Open Industry Alliance 4.0 have a set of interoperability design principles and reference architectures based on industry standards?
Who manages and sets the framework for Open Industry 4.0 Alliance-approved solutions?
The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance Technical committee holds regular hackathons. Any member can register their solutions for a hackathon where interoperability based on the Open Industry 4.0 design principles is put to the test. Participating in the hackathon with the product and qualified personnel is mandatory to receive approval.
How will the Alliance ensure the interoperability of various member solutions?
The technical committee of the Open Industry 4.0 develops in collaboration guidelines and interface specifications based on a reference architecture. (Details on the reference architecture can be found in the technical whitepaper.) With the well-defined interfaces from the developed guidelines, hackathons are held on a regular basis to ensure interoperability and determine if member products and solutions are compliant.
How will members of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance ensure that common data models are used across the industry 4.0 platform architecture stack and its respective solutions?
All members of this alliance will use common asset repository which provides ability to model their assets and create a common repository. This repository will be fully API enabled to publish replicate detailed asset technical models in any Industry 4.0/IIOT platform belonging either that of an operator or member themselves. This will ensure publishing and usage of common semantics across the stack.
Collaboration and membership FAQs
Will Open Industry 4.0 Alliance open up to new members and what are the qualification criteria to become a member of the alliance?
Yes, the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance remains open to new members. Each member undertakes to fulfill the conditions set out in the statute and by-laws. The by-laws are published on www.openindustry4.com website along with other details on becoming a member (e.g. fee structure etc.).
How will members collaborate within Open Industry 4.0 Alliance to drive customer success with their Industry 4.0 digital journey?
Members of the alliance will be focused on solving key customer challenges as they work on getting concrete offerings for high value industry use cases. The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance is planned to be set up so that it provides a platform for members to collaborate as workgroups specific to topics. These will be formal working groups that will develop and finalize approaches for high value use cases and technology recommendations. The outcome of these collaborations will result in white papers, E2Eoffering recommendations by industry use cases, etc.
How will alliance members collaborate to create addressable use case definitions by industry and process segments?
Dedicated working groups are already set up to address the specific customer needs in these industry segments. Please note that a technical white paper for a quick reference for possible use cases in discrete and process industry is available. This aspect of high value use cases and re-use of experience gained as collective expertise is a top priority for this alliance. More detailed white papers on process specific use cases are planned soon.
How we're different FAQs
Is the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance limited to Germany, DACH or Europe?
The vision of the alliance is global. During spring of 2019 we had announced the creation of the alliance with members from Europe. Now, we have 40+ global members including members from outside Europe. The goal of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance is to expand into the major global regions of America, the Middle East and the Asian-Pacific area, as well as the rest of Europe, in the coming years.
There are similar sounding alliances, how does the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance differentiate itself & plan to expand membership?
The core purpose of the alliance is to deliver customer value. This will be done by members with their interoperable solutions and services. The differentiation as compared to other alliances can be summarized with the following statements:
- The charter of the alliance is to be Open to accommodate interested members. No one is dominant.
- Alliance members will enable a common asset model repository, leverage common data semantics to be used across E2E solutions and use an asset network to collaborate directly with customers.
- Alliance members work with each customer to ensure that a critical mass of their trusted vendors are part of the alliance
Plan to grow:
- Working with customers and onboard new members who constitute their trusted vendor landscape.
In addition, we believe each industry’s leading companies who have currently expressed commitment to be part of the alliance have a network and relationship with common interests to serve the customers.
Who do you see as a competition and how does the Open Industry 4.0 alliance fare compare to other alliances focused on Industry 4.0 topic?
The main differentiator of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance is its goal to enable customer success while being Open across the defined solution space. The main aspects and differentiators are
- no one member is dominant. Existing similar sounding alliances have one dominant vendor around which an alliance is being attempted.
- This is the only alliance that promotes providing common asset model repository and leveraging it for common semantics across its stack with plug and play capabilities. This delivers unique benefits for the customers such as re-use and preserving value existing investments, ability to accelerate with collective expertise from members etc.
- Only alliance that provides built-in asset network & collaboration capabilities between operators, service providers and OEMs/Manufacturers
- Members ‘solutions will be interoperable and will also provide coverage for brownfield plants and warehouses.
What is the business purpose and goal of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance?
The purpose and aim of the Open Industry Alliance 4.0 is to deliver customer value & success as an ecosystem. This ecosystem comprises of customer’s trusted suppliers of equipment and IT / OT vendors of customers that offer an integrated and interoperable Industry4.0 / IIOT solution and service within a common framework and ready to use asset model repository. This enables to deliver the digitization of factory, plant and warehouse with faster time to value.
Which companies does the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance target with their offer?
Open Industry 4.0 Alliance core focus will be to serve customers Industry 4.0 digital transformation goals for manufacturing execution, quality & assets operations, service/maintenance and logistics (warehouse) business processes.
The primary target industry segments are:
- Discrete Manufacturing, examples: automotive, Industrial manufacturing and components
- Process Industries, examples: Chemicals, Life science, Life-science
What business problem is this alliance trying to solve & how exactly will this alliance help customers?
The road to digitalization with Industry 4.0/IIOT processes for the operators is a very long one, the challenges are well documented by leading analysts. The main goal envisioned by Open Industry 4.0 Alliance members is to provide solutions to mitigate current customer challenges, accelerate the adoption and reduce the time to deploy digital industry 4.0/IIOT solutions by bringing collective expertise of leading IT & OT providers who are members of this alliance to our customers.
Main Benefits for our customers that this alliance will bring are
- Asset Modeling through standardized semantics enables faster development and interoperability across existing IT/OT landscape and
- quick results with pre-built Edge to Cloud Apps & Integration provided by alliance members covering high value use cases by industry segments
- Faster Enablement of digital strategy with readily available asset model repository and plug & play asset onboarding
- Tight collaboration with manufacturers for asset contents and rule based bidirectional data sharing capability
E2E Services for both IT & OT including mitigating any connectivity challenges to enable greenfield and brownfield coverage.
As a customer/operator, do they need to deploy end to end solution and discard existing IIOT platform investments.
No, one of the focuses to achieve “openness” is interoperability. This means that solutions offered are API enabled to integrate across an existing IT setup of our customers. Secondly, the common asset model repository is also API enabled and this allows use of common data semantics in the spirit of this “Open” approach. All of this makes members offered solutions across the industry 4.0 stack fully modular and enables customers to fully build on top of existing IIOT platforms if they so desire. For more details please refer to technical whitepaper www.openindustry4.com.
As a customer, I wonder when the first set of e2e and interoperable industry 4.0 solutions will be available through Open Industry 4.0 Alliance members
Alliance members focused on discrete and process industry sub-groups are already engaged with early adopter customers respectively. Open Industry 4.0 members have already initiated design and build for interoperable solutions for targeted use cases. First proofs of concept for all layers of the OI4 reference architecture are expected for Hanover fair 2020. For more details in the technical roadmap, please consult the technical whitepaper. In summary, alliance members are open for business and ready to engage with operators and customers. Our alliance members will be supporting interested customers as of right now. Open Industry members are looking for customers across manufacturing and logistics (Warehouse).
Do you envision customers (operators) to be a member of Open Industry 4.0 Alliance
Yes. As part of validating alliance ideas and collecting feedback with some targeted customers, the Open Industry 4.0 alliance has also received interest from customers to be members. The feedback from few surveyed customers, were that that they are interested in working groups and in collaborating with the eco-system members to further evolve solutions for high value use cases.
We're already building/using our own Operator Cloud environment. Does Open Industry 4.0 Alliance offer additional benefits for us in this case? How can this work?
The Open Industry 4.0 Alliance data federation concept on edge and cloud level provides data lake support. Customers can control which data is forwarded to which components on each level of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance reference architecture.
Is it possible to connect to devices that use older fieldbus protocols?
Yes, connectivity could be achieved using protocol converters to supported protocols. Initial focus is put on widely spread protocols such as IO-Link, Modbus, OPC UA etc. Open Industry 4.0 Alliance members will also provide native connectors for less common legacy protocols.
Our target architecture should include local data lakes. Is it possible to forward data from the edge to the local data lake?
Interfaces to local or cloud-based data lakes are included in the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance reference architecture. Customers can configure the publishing of data to local data stores on the edge layer and on the cloud layer. For more information on how this will work, see the technical whitepaper.
How can the Alliance help me integrate with existing architectures (brownfield implementations)?
It is the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance’s objective to transform existing architectures and to provide member–developed, innovative, end-to-end interoperable solutions and services. For more details, download the technical whitepaper from www.openindustry4.com.