Blog

C4IIOT Real – life industrial and operational experiments

C4IIOT Real – life industrial and operational experiments

In C4IIOT two real-life experiments are provided by the partner CRF (FIAT Research Centre), from the Automotive sector. According to an ACEA survey in 2017, automotive manufacturers are the top targets, accounting for almost 30% of the total attacks against the manufacturing industry. Moreover, the same survey has identified the manufacturing sector as the leading target of infrastructure cyber-attacks, accounting for one third of total attacks. Combined with the fact that automotive generates a turnover of more than 6.3% of EU GDP, with ripple effects throughout the economy supporting a vast supply chain and generating an array of business services, the automotive industry is our first aim for the developments in C4IIOT.

The first application is on Inbound Logistics, tackling the complex problem of managing different parts from many origin points to manufacturing plants. IIoT is key to enable the optimisation of the logistics along the supply chain (localisation, status, conditions, etc), to maintain low stocks along the supply chain and inside the plant, to reduce working capital and warehousing costs, and to avoid stock-outs that could cause a production stop in the plant.

The second application is in the Smart Factory, a complex ecosystem where IoT data flows from machines and the plant floor to the Cloud, and subsequent information exchanges occur between all stakeholders in a supply chain (a car has several thousands of major parts, some of them manufactured directly by the OEM). IIOT enable synchronized and concerted control in all aspects of manufacturing, offering an easier, smarter, more productive and more prosperous manufacturing processes lifecycle with real-time information and real-time management.

In both cases, IIOT enable the best usage of the manufacturing systems, the tracking and best utilization of the supply chain resources, but it also brings along the risks related to devices scattered all other the plant and all other the world, interacting with many operators (also outside the FCA perimeter) and other long periods.

Inadequately protected networks, processes and operations pose huge threats to industrial plants and businesses. They are open to a range of attacks and cybercrimes, and threatened by interference, disruption or denial of process controls, theft of intellectual property, the loss of sensitive corporate data, hostile alterations to data, and industrial espionage. Once attackers gain access to a critical application, they can manipulate machines or manufacturing processes remotely, eventually harming people, burning resources, destroying business value, reputation and relationship and jeopardizing the internal processes and systems.

CRF has provided the requirements and use cases for the C4IIOT developments, plus the framework for the analysis of the applications. This will lead, in Mid 2022, to the elicitation of two business cases and a roadmap for subsequent industrialisation.