Industry 4.0 – Connected, Automated, Safe and Convenient

Paradigm shift through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Innovations, an optimized cost-benefit calculation and the shortest possible time-to-market are the decisive points for successful market participation. Industry 4.0 enables companies to implement more efficient and effective production processes and offers competitive advantages.

Intelligent Control for the Production of the Future

Digitalization in industrial environments offers new organizational and control possibilities for all manufacturing processes. Innovative forms of work create the framework conditions for the intelligent linking of people, machines and processes. Core elements are fast and interface-free communication, data security and protection.

Two specific challenges arise from the human centered approach:

  1. The design of applications has to be very user-friendly. Therefore, it is reasonable to integrate knowhow and experience of different user groups in the design and development process.
  2. Systematically planned systems for digital learning and assistance, as well as individual training and coaching programs for existing employees facilitate the transition to Industry 4.0.

The cooperation with Rutronik offers access to an extensive portfolio of innovative components. In addition, customizable "Rutronik System Solutions" based on in-depth knowledge pave the way for the realization of Industry 4.0.

Fields of application:

  • Edge computing
  • Emerging digital interfaces (AR/VR/360°/Holograms/Mixed Reality)
  • HMI
  • M2M
  • Speech recognition
  • Time Sensitive networks
  • Security

Industry 4.0 makes industrial processes more customizable, of higher quality, safer and more efficient

Digitally controlled sensor technology, artificial intelligence, big data, as well as positioning and networks technologies take the quality of manufacturing to a new level. This results in a sustainable approach to increasing productivity, conserving resources and developing economically interesting, customized products.

For logistics, the focus is on continuous access to all relevant data, shorter delivery routes and better demand planning. An intelligent system of barcodes, sensors and GPS that networks the entire value chain creates this flexibility.

Cobots are a relief to human everyday work. Using data glasses, 3D printing or software bots, the automatic recording and processing of information offers additional facilitation.

  • Increasing efficiency and productivity 
  • Optimization of cost structures and work processes
  • Growth opportunities and competitive advantages
  • Responsible use of resources
  • Flexible production environments 
  • Fully transparent processes
  • Fast, flexible response to market changes
  • Autonomous reactions by machines to changes
  • Modern, flexible working models and relief for employees

Edge Computing

Overcoming latency issues for real-time communication

At the edge, devices can quickly process and analyze collected data. As a result, machine response to these analyses is possible without delay. That is advantageous in predictive maintenance, traffic management and autonomous driving. Ultra-low latency times are relevant to safety. Real-time-based technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, digital twin or video monitoring also require short latency.

Conserving bandwidth through less data traffic

Machines and sensors generate large amounts of data. If these have to transfer to the cloud for further processing, they require a corresponding bandwidth. Filtering on-site saves costs both in transmission and storage in the data center

5G campus networks pave the way to the smart factory

These local, geographically limited 5G networks are characterized by their high reliability, long ranges, low latency and high bandwidths while being energy efficient. Thus, they dispose of properties necessary for networked production. In addition, sensitive data is processed exclusively locally, ensuring a higher level of security.

Paradigm shift from cloud to edge with Rutronik

With its own developments and a linecard of specialized partners, Rutronik makes a decisive contribution to secure and autonomous systems with sufficient connectivity, from individual components to complete Edge IoT solutions.

Advantages and applications

  • Optimization of production processes
  • Implementation of real-time analyses
  • Increasing data security
  • Mobility concepts and applications,
  • Smart factory
  • Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

Emerging Digital Interfaces

AR & VR, 360°, Holograms, Mixed Reality

Virtual reality creates new ways for interaction and production

Mixed reality devices require  powerful computing and graphical performance. Using edge computing is the only way to visualize and process complex 3D models in detail and in real-time.

Getting to know and understand products through 3D

Holographic digital twins of complex designs in augmented reality applications allow viewing of every minute detail and product feature. The user obtains more information and complex processes are easier to understand and interact with.

Detecting errors before they go into series production

An AR twin reveals hidden design errors before a product goes into actual production. For example, a cutaway view is helpful here, allowing a look at the inner workings of the designed product without wasting resources on creating various prototypes.

Accelerate time to market and reduce costs

The use of digital interfaces can significantly shorten design processes, consequently time-to-market and reduce costs in all subsequent project steps. Rutronik offers the most suitable components and the expertise to implement them appropriately for the respective application to exploit all the advantages and synergies.

Advantages and applications

  • Increase in production output
  • Lower quality error and failure rate
  • Optimization of the development and product design phase
  • Improved product presentation, training and maintenance


Positive user experience

In the context of Industry 4.0, Human Machine Interface (HMI) becomes a quality feature and enables a positive user experience.  Modern HMI engineering processes following ISO standard 9241-210 focus on intelligent support and cooperation options between all manufacturing levels.

The human as sensor and decision-maker

Sensors alone are not yet able to capture complex interrelationships. Employees’ experience and knowledge still are decisive in continuous optimization and correction of overall sensor performance. Although Industry 4.0 relies on high system intelligence and extensive automation, humans remain part of the systems as decision-makers.

Requirements and benefits using HMI for Industry 4.0

Ease of use, safety, robustness, energy efficiency and interoperability are the keywords for the HMI of the future. Adaptable interfaces (networkable automation components) that integrate IT networks and services and connect fieldbuses and sensors are particularly important.

Modern information technology also creates innovative and intuitive human-machine interaction. Eye tracking, gaze control, gesture recognition in free space, tangible and haptic interfaces increase efficiency.

Rutronik's product specialists for sensor technology, wireless, optoelectronics, etc. support the implementation of future-oriented HMIs from A to Z.

Advantages and applications

  • Efficient user input
  • Intuitive interaction
  • Mobile and flexible interaction
  • Quality assurance
  • Touchless controls
  • Building security
  • Cleanroom applications
  • Inclusion
  • Packaging/Logistics
  • Robotics
  • Wearables

Speech Recognition

New dimension for HMI systems

As a Speech User Interface, voice control complements HMI systems with the Graphical User Interface. Operating systems without using hands, buttons, switches and eye contact significantly increase productivity and improve user experience.

What to look for in voice control systems

The reliability of speech recognition is the central point of integration. It is achieved through independence from the speaker, 30 speech variants, natural speech input and a certain insensitivity to background noise.

The decision whether the system is on- or offline-based depends on the task. Devices, consumer electronics, home automation and media control, can control other devices thanks to online networking.

Applications that represent a self-contained system offline are also ready for use without a network connection, available for a long time and score points with high data security (privacy by design).

Shorten the time-to-market

Time-to-market is the ultimately decisive point in the development of applications. To shorten the development time for high-quality speech output, Rutronik offers the RutAdaptBoard-TextToSpeech. Rutronik's experts provide advice on implementation, including questions about supplementary components for the application, such as audio amplifiers, NOR flash memory, or loudspeakers.

Advantages and application:

  • Safety
  • Accessibility
  • Easier handling
  • Increasing efficiency and productivity
  • Industry:
    •  Collaboration with robots and in AR applications
    •  Control of machines and devices
    • Industrial automation, test and measurement technology
    • Touch-free operation of devices in poorly accessible or explosive environments
  • Medical technology:
    •  Intensive care beds and examination couches via speech
    • Information retrieval and documentation
    • Touch-free operation of devices in poorly accessible or sterile environments
  • Smart Home
  • Digital signage
  • Information pillars
  • Vending machines


Improving M2M communication with Edge Computing

The progressive spread of M2M applications results in the evaluation of ever-increasing amounts of data. The decisive factor here is the required real-time processing so that fluid processes can be realized. Edge computing is an approach to keep latency times as low as possible.

Avoid failures and open up new business fields

Machine-to-machine communication is the automated communication between end devices without human interaction. A mobile network, Bluetooth, WLAN or wired internet connections transmit the information.

The combination of fast and schedulable transmission paths is an advantage of machine-to-machine communication. It also offers an approach for reacting to changes or error messages in an even more flexible and mobile way. This reduces the need for maintenance and breakdowns, which means considerable cost savings.

Technologies for data transmission between devices

Wireless experts at Rutronik will find the optimum components for every planned M2M application thanks to the broadly based linecard with established and new manufacturers.

RFID technology (radio frequency identification), for example, is particularly suitable for contactless data exchange using electromagnetic waves. The NFC short-range radio standard also relies on it. Bluetooth technology convinces fast data transmission and special energy efficiency.


  • Low energy consumption         
  • Optimized work processes
  • Lower maintenance requirements
  • Avoidance of breakdowns
  • Increased productivity
  • Optimization of resource utilization


  • Mobility concepts: Fleet management, autonomous driving, connected car
  • Condition Monitoring
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • Tracking Services
  • Mobile Payment
  • e-Health
  •  Smart Agriculture
  •  Smart Meter

Industrial Ethernet

For whom is Industrial Ethernet suitable?

Ethernet networks are particularly convincing because of their high speed and bandwidth. This makes it possible to collect huge amounts of real-time data from production. In addition, the properties of Ethernet make it possible to distribute communication from central processors in a decentralized manner. It also enables more direct machine-to-machine communication, which allows further optimization options in workflows.

Requirements for a consistent communication system in industrial environments

The goal is an optimal connection to the IT systems at control level and good real-time communication of the decentralized field devices with the controllers. It is important to define transparent communication and, above all, a network infrastructure that is consistent across all levels. Industrial Ethernet offers this with its application-neutral cabling a future-oriented approach.

In a direct exchange with Rutronik, both the general need for an Industrial Ethernet and the optimal selection of required components are reviewed and a recommendation is developed.

Rapid further development for better performance

The points that are primarily being advanced in development include the continuous improvement of performance and clock synchronization, the integration of safety protocols, the mapping of device profiles familiar from the fieldbus world and energy management.

The requirements for the material of hubs and media converters must be adapted to the industrial environmental conditions:

  • Mounting on a 35 mm DIN rail
  • DC power supply
  • Increased EMC interference immunity
  • Extended operating temperature range
  •  Increased protection class (protection against dust, splash water, etc.)
  •  Resistance to oils, lubricants and acids
  • Vibration resistance
  • Precautions for fail-safe operation


  •  Simultaneous data transmission
  • Almost unlimited number of participants
  • Network expansion possible
  • Efficient transmission of large amounts of data
  • Bus access is the same for all network participants
  • Transmission media can be combined


  •  Oil and Gas
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Energy and Power
  •  Electrical and Electronics
  • Automotive and Transport
  • Chemicals

Time Sensitive Networking (TSN)

TSN, the "Ethernet Plus“

In industrial production, tools, equipment and machines must be precisely coordinated to prevent damage to the workpiece or the machine. The prerequisite for this is the exchange of data in real-time. All devices involved must always have an identical time base guaranteeing that responses reach the recipient within a specified time. Industrial Ethernet-capable technologies such as EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) or PROFINET (Process Field Network) etc. guarantee such response times. As each bus system matches specific applications, several have established themselves in parallel.

Continuous, autonomously acting systems for a successful transition to Industry 4.0

That is where the idea of TSN comes in. It runs in addition to classical communication and enables real-time communication even in heterogeneous environments, i.e. when different bus systems and Ethernet are in use. The objective is to achieve determinism and convergence of several data flows in one network.

Precision is decisive requirement

Real-time-capable systems are based on highly accurate clocks in each end device. They must be synchronized as each of their data packages provides a time stamp. The Precision Time Protocol PTP-1588 is responsible for this.

When selecting components, such as bridges or controllers, for TSN integration, Rutronik's digital specialists provide comprehensive expertise and the optimum pre-selection of possible manufacturers.

Advantages and applications

  • Simpler network/machine architectures
  • Less communication hardware needed
  • Greater process transparency and improved process management
  • Standardization of protocols used
  • Increased productivity
  • Better integration of OT and IT systems
  • Industrial Automation
  • Automotive


Multi-level security concept “Defense in Depth”

The multitude of different communication relationships in the industrial sector requires a rethink in the design of IT security. Each communication partner from fieldbuses to controllers has its security requirements. In addition, the integration of cloud computing and IoT applications is increasingly blurring the boundaries of one's industrial network. As a result, only a package of measures with different methods and technologies promises security.

Developing an IT individual security strategy

The strategic definition of optimal, multi-level and appropriate defense-in-depth measures requires an assessment of business assets and risk analysis. The focus is on the targeted protection of valuable company data and the most important processes. It is not mandatory to protect individual machines or systems comprehensively.

Defense in Depth measures are:

  • Antivirus software
  •  Firewalls
  • Anti-spyware programs
  •  A tiered password system
  • Intrusion detection mechanisms
  • Biometric recognition methods

Rutronik provides support from the analysis to the final introduction of the individually suitable security system and provides valuable input for the evaluation and selection of the required components.

Advantages and applications

  • Protection of critical data
  • Timely blocking of IT threats
  • Failure protection
  • Automation
  • Automotive

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