Safety of Industry 4.0 ecosystems – Addressing a new normative challenge
INRIM, Conference Room
TÜV SÜD China Holding
The term “Industrie 4.0” was first coined in Germany to describe the next digital transformation of industrial products, systems, processes, and business models. Its original mission was to support small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in increasing their competitiveness through the use of innovative technologies.
Over the last five years, the once visionary buzzword has become a reality in many applications. Competitiveness in fast-changing industrial and market environments can come in different forms. Shorter product lifecycles, highly customized products/systems, cost efficiency, etc. are some of the factors calling for increased adaptability and flexibility of production processes through a “smarter” automation. While the advantages of “smart manufacturing” are clearly visible and tangible to many, the same cannot be said of the new challenges that come with it – are these systems safe and secure?
Regardless of the added value offered by Industry 4.0, ultimately, the end user of a product, the system integrator, the owner of an industrial asset, the environment where they operate, they shall all be safe and compliant with relevant regulations.
The ongoing digital transformation in the industry has by far outpaced the normative one. Existing risk assessment methodologies – static, linear, and clearly defined in current standards – cannot be simply extended to IoT ecosystems featuring high degrees of connectivity, multiple dependencies and interactions of cyber, physical and social systems. There is still a lot of work to be done by all the stakeholders to define and reach consensus on a harmonized normative framework.
TÜV SÜD, a leading global technical service provider of product/system testing and certification, has taken up this challenge through participation in Industry 4.0 standardization committees, smart factory demonstrators and pilot research projects. The work done will reshape our safety concept, the way we do risk assessment and product testing, and our business model altogether.
Robert Puto is Vice President in TÜV SÜD China Holding. Based in Hong Kong, he is responsible for the business area Commercial Products in China, comprising three main segments: Industrial Products, Smart Energy, Mobility. Major areas of development are currently focused on: Industrial IoT, Industrial Cyber Security, Photovoltaics & Energy Storage Systems, e-Mobility (EV batteries and EV charging infrastructure).
Robert graduated in Electronic Engineering from Politecnico di Torino and in International Business Management from CEIBS Shanghai (China-Europe International Business School).
His career started with Reggiani Illuminazione (Monza) in charge of product testing; later on he joined Istituto Marchio Qualità (Milano) as head of the Photometric laboratory. In early 2004 he moved to Shanghai as resident engineering manager for IMQ China.
Robert joined TÜV SÜD China in 2006 as head of the Electrical Safety Department in Shanghai. Prior to the current role, he worked for 8 years as global head of Photovoltaics based in Shanghai.