Setting up the HyperCOG vision

November 18, 2020

The first work package of the HyperCOG project, entitled “Smart plant vision”, aimed to provide a basis for the work carried out in the rest of the project. The work has been largely completed on schedule for the rest of the project activities to take place. Its objectives included:

  • Identify existing state of the art solutions as a basis for developing HyperCOG elements, including defining frameworks for suitable use cases
  • Assure that the ethical, legal (privacy and security) requirements are taken into consideration and followed
  • Identify high-level system and user requirements
  • Identify the requirements to be fulfilled by the cyber-physical system

Anett Mádi-Nátor of HyperCog partner Cyber Services and the project’s WP1 leader, explains a little more about this vital initial stage of the project. “The tasks in this part of the project aim to research and identify what exists already in the world regarding the aims of the HyperCog project,” she says. “The first task, completed in February 2020, aimed to understand what factories and operators working in factories need, and how cyber-physical systems can play a role in this.

“The second task took a closer look at what is required to create a modern industrial cyber-physical system and laid out these requirements for the rest of those working in HyperCOG.”

Having led the third task of Work Package 1, Mádi-Nátor explains more about the results of his part of the project. “This deliverable was a 50-page report on the risks that surround the HyperCOG project, mainly from a privacy and the cyber security perspective. We aimed to outline what those risks are, how they might affect the project, and how those working in the project should deal with those risks. There is also a smaller privacy impact assessment included within the report, partly stemming from the GDPR perspective. We also touch on the ethical side of the project, outlining what happens if HyperCOG has to handle personal data and if any kind of mass data collection takes place.”

The fourth task of the work package, which aims to assess the current technical setups of the factories in which the demonstration cases will be setup, has been made a little more difficult due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, initial talks with factories have taken place about what IoT is being used, what automation processes are being used, and how HyperCOG might be able to improve upon this existing infrastructure.

Below you can find outlines of the first three completed tasks.

Deliverable 1.1 – Smart plant needs at general and use-case levels

This deliverable described the use cases that will be the basis for HyperCOG development moving forwards. The three use cases are “heavy industry” activities occurring at steel, cement and chemical factories. They represent many of the challenges faced by cyber-physical systems in an industrial context. These challenges range from technical ones such as connectivity of legacy systems, social ones like human-CPS interaction, or can even be related to security.

These gaps in smart manufacturing are simultaneously challenges, problems and opportunities. Deliverable 1.1 has helped the HyperCOG project to gain a good understanding of the use cases, setting up a solid basis for flexible technical solutions to be developed without forgetting social aspects like training or cybersecurity vision.

Deliverable 1.2 – Cyber-physical system requirements

The primary goal of industrial cyber-physical systems (ICPS) – nowadays mostly based on Industrial Internet of Things – is linking the operations and information technology to insight production dynamics. This requires distributed networks of physical devices embedded with sensors, edge computing and actuators used to identify, collect, transfer and process data among multiple points of the manufacturing industry.

Task 1.2 of HyperCOG aimed to discover the requirements need to create an ICPS, covering not only the data and computational aspects but also restrictions and requirements coming from the industrial use cases and the developer teams.

A requirements list for an ICPS has been drawn up in the deliverable 1.2, with the main pillars of consisting of functionality, trustworthiness, data and timing. An explanation of the essential topics within each of these pillars has been drawn up, and guidelines relating to these matters have been provided for all participants in HyperCOG. Finally, the collected requirements have been gathered in a table together with an estimation of priority, complexity and risk. The list of requirements is not static, and highlights the main needs, features, capabilities and skills that should be used to implement HyperCOG’s goals.

Deliverable 1.3 – HyperCOG compliance framework (legal, ethical and societal aspects)

The purpose of this deliverable was to aid the HyperCOG developers, smart plant decision makers and end-users, as well as business modele of the HyperCOG project to identify and take into consideration the legal, ethical and societal dimensions of the proposed HyperCOG solution. The aim is to support the ethical sustainability of the proposed HyperCOG solution that aims to expand the capabilities of the physical world through computation, communication and control in the manufacturing domain.

All data relevant to ethical issues and the protection of individual rights will be gathered, while engaging the end users of the system (facility owners/ operators) in a dynamic process of data handling, for the purposes of safe operation in their facilities.

The deliverable also examines to what extent the HyperCOG system will affect the ethical, privacy and data protection rights of data subjects, during the duration of the project and after its closure, as a commercial product. Special attention is also paid to GDPR and the potential upcoming ePrivacy regulation.

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