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Factory Automation Edge Computing Operating System Reference Implementation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FAR-EDGE (Factory Automation Edge Computing Operating System Reference Implementation)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-10-31

"Industry 4.0 is the integration of Information Technology and Operational Technology into what is sometimes called the “smart and connected factory”. The goal is having more efficient and flexible production systems on the one side, while enabling new business models on the other. This fourth industrial revolution was started by the convergence, over time, of several innovative concepts like IoT, Cloud Computing, Cognitive Computing and Digital Simulation.
FAR-EDGE is a joint effort of leaders in industrial automation, Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT). The project is raising the stakes of Industry 4.0: its goal is reshaping the highly hierarchical structure of factory systems (the “automation pyramid”) into a peer-to-peer collaboration of local actors on the shop floor. The catalysts of such transformation are, once again, new paradigms: Edge Computing and the Blockchain. FAR-EDGE follows a unique approach, using Edge Gateway devices to inject Edge Computing powers into the legacy factory with a minimum of disruption. A virtual, decentralized coordination layer is provided by means of Smart Contracts. The FAR-EDGE Platform will be a reference implementation of the FAR-EDGE Architecture with baseline functionalities tailored to automation, simulation and analytics.
After three years of research, development, experimentation and dissemination, all the project objectives have been fully achieved; in particular:
• The FAR-EDGE Reference Architecture (RA) was designed and published.
• A reference implementation of the RA - the FAR-EDGE Platform - was developed and released with an open source licese.
• The Platform includes support for simulation environments by means of its Open API for Virtualization.
• The Platform integrates a custom implementation of the New Generation Access Control (NGAC) security standard.
• The Platform was deployed and validated in three different environments: two industrial pilots in large manufacturing enterprises (Volvo in Sweden and Whirpool in Italy) and one Industrie 4.0 demonstrator plant (SmartFactoryKL in Germany). A total of fourteen use cases have been deployed and run.
• Five architectural blueprints for the easy migration of legacy factory systems to the new FAR-EDGE decentralized architecture have been developed and published.
• The foundation of a multi-sided FAR-EDGE ecosystem have been established by means of the ""Edge for Industry"" initiative (https://edge4industry.eu) and two dedicated events (ecosystem conferences) held in Milan and Lisbon.
• An assessment of the business impact of the adoption of FAR-EDGE technologies by manufacturers have been done, with positive results."
The key results of the project are listed below:
WP2 Vision and Specifications
Definition of requirements, reference scenarios, use cases and KPIs
Definition of the FAR-EDGE Reference Architecture
Specification of the FAR-EDGE Platform

WP3 Factory Automation Infrastructure
Prototype implementation of the FAR-EDGE Platform's software building blocks
Specification of architectural blueprints and migration strategies for the adoption of the FAR-EDGE architecture

WP4 Simulation Services
Specification of a CPS data model for simulation
Prototype implementation the virtualization functionalities of the FAR-EDGE Platform
Prototype implementation of two ad-hoc simulation solutions for FAR-EDGE use cases

WP5 Platform Implementation and Integration
Specification of a meta-model for digital twins analytics
Prototype implementation of the integrated FAR-EDGE Platform

WP6 Platform Validation and Evaluation
Prototype implementation of eight validation use cases in a lab environment
Prototype implementation of five + one validation use cases in two industrial environments
Assessment of the techno-economical aspects of the above use cases
Assessment of the business aspects of the above use cases (actually in the scope of WP8)

WP7 Ecosystem Building
The FAR-EDGE ecosystem portal (https://edge4industry.eu) is online with 188 registered users, belonging to 124 distinct organizations
Organization of two dedicated community events (ecosystem conferences) in Milan and Lisbon


WP8 Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation
Execution of a total of 204 dissemination actions; among those worth mentioning:
- publishing of 23 conference papers;
- organization of 11 workshops;
- live execution or publishing of 22 training sessions;
- 40 presentations to potential customers.
Publishing of a joint dissemination book (https://www.riverpublishers.com/book_details.php?book_id=676) which includes contributions from the AUTOWARE and DAEDALUS projects
Definition of the final exploitation plan
FAR-EDGE provides the world’s first open, secure, and standards-based reference implementation of an edge computing architecture for factory automation, analytics and simulation: the FAR-EDGE Platform.
The FAR-EDGE Platform is based on a novel paradigm for decentralized solutions in manufacturing and exploits highly innovative techniques for security and trustworthiness.
The expected impact is factory automation moving towards edge computing architectures, thus enabling innovative solutions that will improve quality and minimize costs. To facilitate the achievement of this ambitious goal, FAR-EDGE has also established the foundation of a multi-sided ecosystem that involves manufacturers, OEMs, solution providers and system integrators.
The FAR-EDGE Ecosystem