Seven suppliers from mechanical engineering, industrial automation and software announced the foundation of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance at the Hannover Messe 2019 trade fair. With this cooperation, the companies want to overcome proprietary solutions and give a boost to the digital transformation of the European industry.

Founding members of the alliance are Beckhoff, Endress+Hauser, Hilscher, ifm, KUKA, Multivac and SAP. In principle, the alliance is open to all companies. Balluff, Gebhardt, Pepperl+Fuchs, Schmidtsche Schack, Samson and WIKA have already joined the alliance as members.

All companies are mutually committed to the creation of a standardized and open ecosystem for the operation of highly automated manufacturing facilities and process plants with the integration of logistics and services.

“The open architecture of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance meets all the requirements of the process industry,” says Matthias Altendorf, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group. “It is based on standards, ensures transparency across all business processes and guarantees the integrity of the systems. This enables process plant operators to leverage the potential of digitalization.”

The alliance members are planning to create an “Open Industry 4.0 Framework” based on existing standards such as I/O Link, OPC UA and RAMI for the entire enterprise—from plant floor to the business level and services. Manufacturers can choose from a modular system of compatible and scalable solution and service components, such as digital services from Endress+Hauser’s Netilion IIoT ecosystem.

For facilities already using SAP, the connection to the SAP software portfolio ensures the integration of a company’s business processes as well as collaboration with partners across company boundaries and supply chain. The open architecture allows the simple connection of further system landscapes.

More information about the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance can be found on its evolving web site.