Agents for the Industrial Internet

If manufacturing firms are to benefit from the emerging Industrial Internet, then they have to adapt their current automation infrastructure. Security and privacy (e.g. concerning intellectual property and trade secrets) will feature strongly in any risk assessment concerning the adoption of practices using the Industrial Internet. Salzburg Research explores the use of policy-enacting, multi-agent systems that securely manage machines and manufacturing cells. A feasibility demonstrator based on open source tools and firmware will be developed.

Many manufacturing firms have already achieved high levels of automation and productivity. In other words, their company-wide productivity potentials are largely exploited. However, most manufacturers are highly specialised and their products are being supplied to many and diverse downstream manufacturers and integrators. While supply chain management in certain sectors such as automotive are rather well understood and are typically supported by rigorously defined processes, there are many smaller value networks where such rigorously defined supply chains do not offer any economies of scale. For these value networks, the potential lies in optimising dynamically, against volatile and fast-changing demand and supply situations. The challenge goes already beyond real-time to concepts such as “anticipatory delivery”. This means a trend towards producing highly individualised components at very short notice, but with a prospect of receiving “signals of buyer’s intent”, thanks to the possibilities afforded by the Internet. Getting such signals must then be complemented by the ability to change production plans at short notice, exploiting alternative production routes, and being able to negotiate changes in delivery dates across company boundaries, in real-time. This is where IoT4Industry makes its contribution.

Expected results and findings:

  1. Methodology for specifying multi-agent security and privacy policies for use in Industrial Internet applications, e.g. in dynamic supply chain management across company bound-aries;
  2. Feasibility demonstrator for a three-company scenario based on Contiki open source IoT infrastructure, JADE multi-agents platform and WADE multi-agent workflows.

More information:

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