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Future Industrial Networks in Process Automation: Goals, Challenges, and Future Directions


Research group:

Publication Type:

Journal article


Applied Sciences--Special Issue "Emerging Paradigms and Architectures for Industry 4.0 Applications"


There are many initiatives and technologies working towards implementing factories of the future. One consensus is that the classical hierarchical automation system design needs to be flattened while supporting the functionality of both Operation Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) within the same network infrastructure. To achieve the goal of IT/OT convergence in process automation, an evolutionary transition is preferred. Challenges are foreseen during the transition, mainly caused by the traditional automation architecture, and the main challenge is to identify the gap between the current and future network architectures. To address the challenges, in this paper, we describe one desired future scenario for process automation and carry out traffic measurements from a pulp and paper mill. The measured traffic is further analyzed, which reveals representative traffic characteristics in the process automation. Finally, the key challenges and future directions towards a system architecture for factories of the future are presented.


author = {Johan {\AA}kerberg and Mats Bj{\"o}rkman and Johan Furun{\"a}s-{\AA}kesson and Maryam Vahabi and Rahul Nandkumar Gore and Mehrzad Lavassani and Thomas Lindh and Xiaolin Jiang and Jorgen Gade},
title = {Future Industrial Networks in Process Automation: Goals, Challenges, and Future Directions},
volume = {11},
number = {3345},
pages = {3345--3360},
month = {April},
year = {2021},
journal = {Applied Sciences--Special Issue {"}Emerging Paradigms and Architectures for Industry 4.0 Applications{"}},
url = {}