How the law can foster or hinder unprecedented industrial trends (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review –

Uber’s current challenges in London and elsewhere show how governments and legislation can change the path of technology.

Industry 4.0 is no different. The technological trends that characterize the current industrial world have yet to be fully understood, both in terms of sheer research and in its spot within the law. Many issues are arising due to the intricately different nature of these technologies which pose new conundrums with regards to intellectual property (IP), operational and product safety standards and much more.

Nowhere this is more apparent than within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystems, where its interconnected and decentralized nature makes it more susceptible to cyber-attacks and the new and overwhelming barrage of connected devices make the law-grounds much more difficult to thread. Is it all going too fast for legislators to keep up? It certainly seems so, as Southern China authorities have already issued the mandatory registration for all additive manufacturing industries citing “social security issues”. The trembling hand of these institutions, scrambling to grasp what they cannot entirely control, is starkly in contrast with many other countries where a race is on for the biggest slice of the innovation cake. They are putting together consortiums for the analysis and debugging of law-related issues and fostering the rise and gathering of activities which will, inevitably, spur consolidated operational standards, providing fertile grounds for them to grow.

How product safety will define the success of Industry 4.0/IIoT

Whilst safety protocols for IIoT equipment already exist within the Industrial Ethernet, from a product safety standardization perceptive, the challenges come when product advances outpace safety standards development. Then there’s the potential risk of fitting sensors to existing ‘redundant’ equipment to make these machines IIoT capable. In this scenario, the certified-design and safety parameters of the machine may be invalidated by making the device IIoT ready. Functional Safety for both hardware and software (to standard IEC 61508 and its associated standards) and Cybersecurity are also now defining factors when it comes to building in safety of an IIoT device. These aspects (and more) need to be carefully considered as early on in the design phase as possible.

Keep reading at Control Engineering Europe.

Chinese City Registers All Additive Manufacturing Industries To Ensure “Social Security”

Authorities in Chongqing, Southern China have announced that they will require all 3D printing companies based in the city to register with local police. Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported that the objective of the measure is to both keep dangerous and illegal products from the public, whilst also controlling the production and sales of digital blueprints and data files for important specialist components.

Read the full article here.

The Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) And The Law

There has been surprisingly little attention given by the legal community to the issues and implications associated with the IIoT, either generally or within the utility industry. Discussion of the IIoT in the electric industry has been the province of operational and engineering experts. But IIoT operational and engineering challenges will inevitably present novel and difficult legal issues.

Read the full article at Mondaq.

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