IOT Internet of Things
Siegblatt /
2020-02-24 Testing + Certification

Industry 4.0 – The road to secure intelligent production with VDE

The rapidly growing digitization of economy and society is the driving force behind Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. By using the latest information and communications techniques, self-organization of production in intelligent factories, or smart factories, will become a possibility, with intelligent, digitally networked systems forming the technical foundation for it.  Thanks to direct communication and cooperation between man and machine, the entire value-added chain can be optimized, and customer requests can therefore be addressed with greater flexibility.

Klaus Spahn

The VDE Institute tests and certifies your internet of things

Industrial robots in automotive production
Herrndorff / Fotolia

Since communication and collaboration between the individual parties takes place digitally via the internet of things (IOT), precautions must be taken here to protect often sensitive data and make it impossible for outside intrusion to take place. Technical standards and norms must also be re-developed, and in both cases, the VDE Institute actively participates. This will allow for continued development, along with the security of Industry 4.0.

To ensure that no device or system poses a hazard to people or the environment, the VDE Institute tests functional safety. Now more than ever and mainly in productions with Industry 4.0, security relies on the proper functionality of the corresponding systems. Malfunctions, along with systematic and random hardware and software errors, can lead to dangerous situations and thereby endanger people, systems and investments. Electric shocks, fire, or (in the worst-case scenario) even explosions are not uncommon here.

Information security is an important pre-requisite

VDE-tested information security
Maksim Kabakou / Fotolia

The experts at the VDE Institute offer their expertise as early as during the development phase. As such, your product can be securely designed and hazards can be prevented and, ultimately, product safety can be confirmed with a VDE certificate.  A tested and certified product with the VDE certfication mark means safety and quality for you customers and an easier market entry for you.

Information security plays an additional, important role. This is due to the fact that hazards that affect the system from the outside must be prevented. It relates to matters such as malware, malicious software or unauthorized system access. In both cases, system functionality may be affected or it can even be made to do nothing or do something improperly.

As Industry 4.0 advances further, fears of data theft and manipulations are also growing. Many cases show how easy it is for hackers to penetrate external systems. Because of this, the VDE Institute also offers different services related to this matter, such as data protection testing, cloud services testing, vulnerability scans and much more.

Networking and digitization are taking big steps forward and offer the industry many new possibilities in production and customer acquisition. To that end, however, the appropriate precautions must be taken. We’ll gladly assist you with that!

Machine and equipment safety

Industrial robot arm
svedoliver / iStockphoto

To securely implement Industry 4.0, not only must software be considered, but secure machine hardware and the configuration must also be assessed accordingly. Whether it is type examinations according to the Equipment Safety Act (Gerätesicherheitsgesetz), EC type examinations according to Annex IV of the Machinery Directive (Maschinenrichtlinie) or conformity evaluations according to EC Directives, risk analyses, functional safety and additional conformity tests according to national and international standards – the VDE Institute offers you the appropriate expertise for all important areas in industrial technology.

Apart from testing and certifying electric machines, we also certify their numerous components such as frequency inverters, memory-programmable controls, motors and control cabinets. We also assist the end product’s manufacturer and distributor with matters related to safety and EMC during the assembly of machine systems from various components.

Our experts will assist you with all these issues and more as early as during the development stage so that you can save time and money. This includes risk assessment of your machine or safety module and your plan on functional safety.

CERT@VDE: Synergies for greater security

IOT paves the way for Industry 4.0
Mimi Potter / Fotolia

To increase information security, a crucial success factor for Industry 4.0 and digitization, the VDE has created a platform to coordinate information security problems specifically for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the field of industry automation. To coordinate the handling of weak points in proprietary products and provide product safety information in a structured manner, large international companies and institutions mostly have an in-house CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) or CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team). Furthermore, large manufacturers often use a PSIRT (Product Security Incident Response Team). However, SMEs generally lack the resources for these specialized emergency teams. Even in places where it has already been set up, there is still a lack of structures for trustworthy collaboration with other manufacturers, and this is where CERT@VDE comes in: This platform, specially designed for SMEs, offers manufacturers, integrators, system builders and operators in the field of industry automation the option to intensively exchange information in a trustworthy manner and receive specific support in cyber security. Cooperation structures for IT, security, and product managers allow for mutual collaboration on overcoming the high security risk that has become a central challenge with Industry 4.0.

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