Semantic communications between distributed cyber-physical systems towards collaborative automation for smart manufacturing


Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is a crucial technology for collaborative manufacturing automation in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-empowered industrial networks. The new decentralized manufacturing automation paradigm features ubiquitous communication and interoperable interactions between machines. However, peer-to-peer (P2P) interoperable communications at the semantic level between industrial machines is a challenge. To address this challenge, we introduce a concept of Semantic-aware Cyber-Physical Systems (SCPSs) based on which manufacturing devices can establish semantic M2M communications. In this work, we propose a generic system architecture of SCPS and its enabling technologies. Our proposed system architecture adds a semantic layer and a communication layer to the conventional cyber-physical system (CPS) in order to maximize compatibility with the diverse CPS implementation architecture. With Semantic Web technologies as the backbone of the semantic layer, SCPSs can exchange semantic messages with maximum interoperability following the same understanding of the manufacturing context. A pilot implementation of the presented work is illustrated with a proof-of-concept case study between two semantic-aware cyber-physical machine tools. The semantic communication provided by the SCPS architecture makes ubiquitous M2M communication in a network of manufacturing devices environment possible, laying the foundation for collaborative manufacturing automation for achieving smart manufacturing. Another case study focusing on decentralized production control between machines in a workshop also proved the merits of semantic-aware M2M communication technologies. © 2020 The Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Journal of Manufacturing Systems
Yuqian Lu
Yuqian Lu
Principle Investigator / Senior Lecturer

My research interests include smart manufacturing systems, industrial AI and robotics.