An Edge-Cloud based Reference Architecture to support cognitive solutions in the Process Industry

by   Antonio Salis, et al.

Process industry is one of the leading sectors of the world economy, characterized by difficult environmental conditions, low innovation and very high consumption of electricity. There is a strong push at worldwide level towards the dual objective of improving the efficiency of plants and products, significantly reducing the consumption of electricity and CO2 emissions. Digital transformation can be the enabling driver to achieve these goals, while ensuring better working conditions for workers. Currently, digital sensors in plants produce a large amount of data which constitutes a potential value that is not exploited. Digital technologies, with process design using digital twins, can combine the physical and the virtual worlds, bringing innovation with great efficiency and drastic reduction of waste. In accordance with the guidelines of Industrie 4.0, the H2020 funded CAPRI project aims to innovate the process industry, with a modular and scalable Reference Architecture, based on open source software, which can be implemented both in brownfield and greenfield scenarios. The ability to distribute processing between the edge, where the data is created, and the cloud, where the greatest computational resources are available, facilitates the development of integrated digital solutions with cognitive capabilities. The reference architecture will be finally validated in the asphalt, steel and pharma pilot plants, allowing the development of integrated planning solutions, with scheduling and control of the plants, optimizing the efficiency and reliability of the supply chain, and balancing energy efficiency.


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