Software-based smart factory networking

Robert Bauer 1 , Roland Bless 1 , Christian Haas 2 , Markus Jung 1 ,  and Martina Zitterbart 1
  • 1 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Telematics, Zirkel 2, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany, Germany
  • 2 Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB), Fraunhoferstraße 1, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany, Germany


This paper describes a framework for software-based networking in smart factories (SF) that enables them to easily adapt the communication network to changing requirements. Similar to cloud-based systems, such SFs could be seen as production clusters that could be rented and configured as needed. The SF network utilizes software-defined networking (SDN) combined with network functions virtualization (NFV) in order to achieve the required flexibility. This paper presents and discusses our vision of a network architecture for SFs based on SDN and network virtualization in order to support smart services especially for Industrie 4.0. Despite the fact that the technology is nowadays not yet ready for deployment in today's manufacturing networks, we present a framework for software-defined factory networks and discuss possible challenges and benefits.

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AT – Automatisierungstechnik covers the entire field of automation technology. It presents the development of theoretical procedures and their possible applications. Topics include new discoveries about the development and application of methods. It presents the function, properties, and applications of tools and includes contributions from the worlds of research, academia, and industry.