Four ways for manufacturers to establish trust in connected devices

Tuesday July 30, 2019
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
July 30, 2019 – When it comes to confidence in manufacturing business, a new white paper says the introduction of connected assets using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) means management must be able to trust not only in its workers and processes, but also in the technology, physical components and systems used to power it all. 

The "Managing and Assessing Trustworthiness for IIoT in Practice" white paper, published by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), serves as an introductory guide to trustworthiness in the IIoT. The IIC is a global membership program that acts as an accelerator of IIoT solutions.

"The fact is that it is possible to have 'too much' trustworthiness," says Jim Morrish, co-chair of the IIC Business Strategy and Solution Lifecycle Working Group, in a release. "Trustworthiness costs, in terms of the costs of devices and associated software, and also often in terms of user experience and functionality. A trustworthiness solution for a nuclear processing plant would be an unnecessary hindrance to the day-to-day operations of a peanut butter manufacturer."

The white paper’s best-practice approach to managing trustworthiness is comprised of four phases:

1) Baseline: Gather basic information to include in the trustworthiness model.
2) Analyze: Assess how trustworthiness-related events can potentially impact a business and provide real options for addressing risks.
3) Implement: Create trustworthiness targets and establish appropriate governance. 
4) Iterate: Develop and maintain the resulting trustworthiness model on an ongoing basis, becaus trustworthiness is not a static concept.

"An IIoT system must address trustworthiness requirements throughout the lifecycle of the system," says Bassam Zarkout, founder of IGnPower and co-author of the paper. "This means that industrial IoT trustworthiness is not a project with a finite start and a finite end. It is a journey that must be powered by an established program."

Applying the model to a machine vision application
"Security is already recognized as one of the most important considerations when designing an IIoT system,” said Frederick Hirsch, a standards manager at Fujitsu, and also co-chair of the IIC Trustworthiness Task Group. "This white paper expands on that thinking by recognizing that safety, privacy, reliability and resilience need to be considered in conjunction with security to establish trust that IIoT systems will not only be functional but also will not harm people, the environment or society."

The white paper discusses a live example of an IIoT system analyzed from a trustworthiness perspective. Fujitsu’s Factory Operation Visibility & Intelligence (FOVI) system (and IIC testbed) has the primary goal of bringing more visibility of operations to plant managers in near-real time. The goal is to reduce human errors, bring more predictability to product assembly and delivery, and optimize production all while ensuring a sufficient level of trustworthiness.

"FOVI highlights how the different aspects of trustworthiness can impact business performance," says Jacques Durand, director of engineering and standards at Fujitsu, co-chair of the IIC Business Strategy and Solution Lifecycle Working Group and also a member of the IIC Steering Committee. "For instance slowing down a production line can reduce costs associated with stress on machinery and machine operators, but such a course of action may also adversely impact productivity or lead time."

Relevant trustworthiness characteristics (such as reliability, safety etc.) were listed, resulting in a set of trustworthiness criteria for the FOVI system. Objectives are associated with each trustworthiness criterion, which must translate into targets for specific metrics. Each criteria is paired with an action item or "change factor" to resolve in order to achieve trustworthiness targets.

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