Plant-wide interoperability and decoupled, data-driven process control with message bus communication

P. Kannisto, D. Hästbacka, T. Gutiérrez, O. Suominen, M. Vilkko, and P. Craamer, "Plant-wide interoperability and decoupled, data-driven process control with message bus communication", Journal of Industrial Information Integration, vol. 26, p. 100253, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jii.2021.100253

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Research project(s): COCOP

Software: COCOP Toolkit


Systems integration; Service-oriented architecture; Industrial cyber-physical systems; Industry 4.0; Publish–subscribe communication pattern


Conventional industrial communication systems suffer from rigidness, inflexibility and lack of scalability. The environment is heterogeneous as the systems exchange data with a variety communication protocols, some of which are proprietary. This makes it laborious and expensive to reconfigure or upgrade the systems. As the solution, this article proposes a message-bus-based communication architecture to enable information exchange between systems regardless of their geographical location and position within the functional hierarchy of the plant. The architecture not only enables communication to cross the conventional physical borders but also provides scalability to growing data volumes and network sizes. As proofs of concept, the article presents a prototype in three environments: a copper smelter, a steel plant and a distillation column. The results suggest that the message-bus-based approach has potential to renew industrial communications, a core part of the fourth industrial revolution.