Today’s factory machines are ever more connected with SCADA, MES, ERP applications as well as external systems for data analysis. Different types of network architectures must be used for this purpose. For instance, control applications at the lowest level are susceptible to delays and errors while data analysis with machine learning procedures requires to move a large amount of data without real-time constraints. Standard data formats, like Automation Markup Language (AML), have been established to document factory environment, machine placement and network deployment, however, no automatic technique is currently available in the context of Industry 4.0 to choose the best mix of network architectures according to spacial constraints, cost, and performance. We propose to fill this gap by formulating an optimization problem. First of all, spatial and communication requirements are extracted from the AML description. Then, the optimal interconnection of wired or wireless channels is obtained according to application objectives. Finally, this result is back-annotated to AML to be used in the life cycle of the production system. The proposed methodology is described through a small, but complete, smart production plant.
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