The company manager 1Tomáš Kertis, Ph.D. regularly participates in professional conferences and seminars on the topic of safety in various engineering fields. One of the regular seminars is “Risk Management of Processes and Complex Technical Facilities” with the proceedings of the same name (download here). The seminar is organized by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague and regularly invites scientific experts, academic staff, critical infrastructure engineers and doctoral students to it.
The company’s manager gave a presentation on the topic of the contribution in the collection “Use of modern technologies of industry 4.0 in security” in cooperation with Mrs. doc. RNDr. Dana Procházková, CSc., DrSc (editor and associate professor at CTU in Prague). The article is based on and refers to the findings presented in the article we published in the Technology section entitled What is IIoT, Digital Twin and Industrial Metaverse?
What is covered by the safety of technical facilities?
Complex technical works are complex systems, connecting many subsystems and components. Under this we can imagine a distributed transport network, the Internet and the interconnection of elements of information technology, elements of critical infrastructure and their interconnection (in transport, energy, banking, healthcare, administration, etc.). At the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, mainly technical aspects are dealt with, and therefore the seminar was divided into several blocks: introduction to the safety management of technical works, safety in nuclear energy and at extreme temperatures, safety of structures and buildings (metro station, fire safety of concrete structures), further followed by a block of risks in the foundry industry and surface treatments, then cyber security and IT, security legislation.
Safety and Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is an industrial revolution in the sense of connectivity and decentralization, i.e. digitization of production, technological and business processes or the entire supply chain. Closely related to Industry 4.0 is the concept of Smart Cities, which depends on digitization and connectivity, as it enables the linking of elements for the benefit of higher superior functions. Connecting elements leads to higher complexity, and thus in a number of functions, under normal conditions to an increase in quality in various aspects. On the other hand, complexity leads to many new system vulnerabilities and sensitivity to changing conditions that are not always predictable. From the point of view of systems engineering, we are talking about emergent phenomena arising from the given complexity, which must be solved from the point of view of safety.
Industry 4.0 financially, academically and practically supports complexity and creates so-called Systems of Systems, which, compared to conventional systems, are specific in the areas of:
- autonomy (systems work independently, but their combination creates new superior functions that individual systems would not fulfill on their own),
- affiliation (elements of the system belong to a certain functional structural or logical group, e.g. transport systems, energy systems, structures, buildings),
- connectivity (“innumerable possible interconnections of systems and their parts to improve system capabilities”, i.e. systems of different degrees of autonomy and different groups of affiliation are connected to each other, e.g. banking and transport system with the help of human processes and IT; creates new superior functions),
- diversity (interconnected systems are diverse, each one contributes to the system whole in its own way),
Emergence is a key element in the field of security, because the deliberate increased unpredictability of the system and the creation of conditions for the possibility of emergence (i.e. the emergence) is of fundamental importance in a negative sense (the occurrence of unpredictable negative events, disasters) but also in a positive sense (possible early detection and elimination of adverse behavior system).
Due to the nature and theory of systems of systems, their engineering relies on different scientific and analytical methods than classical systems to this day. Classical systems are based on exact or probabilistic methods, including, for example, functional safety and risk management. It means exactly that the expert himself or with the help of analytical tools considers all possible states of the system in which he is looking for an error and by eliminating it increases partial security. However, complex systems have a huge number of states and all of them cannot be verified safely in real time, so so-called heuristic methods are used.
Heuristics or meta-heuristics do not guarantee finding the optimal solution, but will provide the most probable local solution (let’s imagine, for example, a navigation system in google maps that evaluates the best route based on current traffic). Heuristics also include expert methods, where the result is provided by an expert or a team of experts in the given area based on their knowledge and practical experience (practically from real life, you can imagine a driver behind the wheel who, depending on the traffic situation, decides whether to brake or turn, etc.) . For more sophisticated artificial systems, artificial intelligence and other (meta)heuristic algorithms are introduced (e.g. ant colonies, genetic algorithm, neural networks, etc.). Due to the nature and theory of systems of systems, their engineering relies on different scientific and analytical methods than classical systems to this day. Classical systems are based on exact or probabilistic methods, including, for example, functional safety and risk management. It means exactly that the expert himself or with the help of analytical tools considers all possible states of the system in which he is looking for an error and by eliminating it increases partial security. However, complex systems have a huge number of states and all of them cannot be verified safely in real time, so so-called heuristic methods are used.
You can read how the author evaluates the state of technology within Industry 4.0 and the possibilities of use for the benefit of safety in the entire article here.
We will gradually publish individual aspects of management and methods of increasing safety in individual sections. however, if you are dealing with a specific situation in the area of risks and security, do not hesitate to contact us.