Decentralized Intelligence in the Age of Industry 4.0
The technological implementation of Industry 4.0, i.e. the continuous digital alignment of industrial processes, has begun. Future systems demand intelligent networking right down to the field level. To achieve this goal sensors and actuators require two things: intelligence in the form of microcontrollers along with corresponding interfaces, to allow communication with one another and with higher levels of the process planes. For communications the Fieldbus standard is certainly the right choice but many plant operators want additional facilities that go beyond the usual standards. In many industrial applications it is useful, for example, to be able to adapt fluidic systems to current process requirements with as little fuss as possible.