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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

The PLC as a Smart Service in Industry 4.0 Production Systems

Faculty of Electrical Engineering & Information Technoloigy, Hochschule Duesseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Duesseldorf 40476, Germany
Fraunhofer Institute for Embedded Systems and Communication Technologies ESK, Munich 80686, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of paper published in the 14th International Conference on Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation, NY, USA 15–17 March 2017.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(18), 3815;
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 5 September 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
Industrial controls, and in particular, Programmable Logic controllers (PLC) currently form an important technological basis for the automation of industrial processes. Even in the age of industry 4.0 and industrial internet, it can be assumed that these controllers will continue to be required to a considerable extent for the production of tomorrow. However, the controllers must fulfill a range of additional requirements, resulting from the new production conditions. Thereby, the introduction of the service paradigm plays an important role. This paper presents the concept of smart industrial control services (SICS) as a new type of a PLC. As a distributed service-oriented control system in an IP network, a SICS controller can replace the traditional PLC for applications with uncritical timing in terms of Industry 4.0. The SICS are programmed as usual in industry, according to the standard IEC 61131-3, and run in a SICS runtime on a server or in a cloud. The term Smart Service is introduced and the uses of SICS as a smart service, including a clearing system for the creation of new business models based on control as a service, are described. As a result, two different SICS prototype implementations are described and two application examples from manufacturing automation, as well as the evaluation of the real-time features and the engineering of a SICS controller, are discussed in the paper.
Keywords: control service; smart service; control as a service; cloud-based control system; automation system control service; smart service; control as a service; cloud-based control system; automation system
MDPI and ACS Style

Langmann, R.; Stiller, M. The PLC as a Smart Service in Industry 4.0 Production Systems. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 3815.

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