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Huawei, NXP get ready for Industry 4.0

Posted: 24 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Industry 4.0? smart factory? advance manufacturing?

Security concerns need to be addressed. The Stuxnet hack that rendered unusable one-fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges, perpetrated on Siemens' PLCs, created in the industry a reasonable distrust of connected computers. And in 2011 the Duqu worm was discovered. Unlike Stuxnet, to which it seems to be related, it was designed to gather information rather than to interfere with industrial operations.

"What we see is that a lot of industrial control systems are hooked up to the Internet," said Roel Schouwenberg, senior anti-virus researcher of Kaspersky Lab. "They don't change the default password, so if you know the right keywords [through a Google search] you can find these control panels."

Here is where NXP could provide the necessary security tools. The Dutch company is the co-inventor of NFC technology, and it's the European leader in secure communications and hardware encryption using secure elements. Embedding control systems with unique keys and a secure elementsimilar to the SIM card of a cellular phonecould eliminate the need for complicated passwords and additional security.

Another issue is the industry's reluctance to change. Machine builders are not rushing to implement this technology and, while most of the technologies necessary for Industry 4.0 already exist, not many suppliers are in a position to offer a comprehensive, easy-to-implement package. The combination of Huawei and NXP solutions could provide the framework most machine manufacturers seek.

If used correctly, Industry 4.0 tools could help increase manufacturing efficiency, enable smaller, local manufacturers to compete with foreign giants, and bring flexibility and savings to the entire manufacturing sector.

- Pablo Valerio

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