Fraunhofer study report on cybersecurity, digital twins and sustainability in production

How can digital methods be used to redesign and optimize existing production processes? For many companies, it is unclear how they can use Industry 4.0 technologies to their advantage. The current study report by the "International Center for Networked, Adaptive Production ICNAP" offers insights into the implementation of digitalization technologies in industry. This free study report provides a comprehensive overview of practical research on topics such as data security, sustainability and digital twins and is now available to download.

ICNAP Study Report title
The ICNAP Study Report summarizes the results of five one-year research projects on the digitization of production in a practical and clear manner.

Digital networking in the sense of Industry 4.0 promises to make process chains more efficient, flexible and sustainable. For many companies, this raises the question what this means for their own manufacturing systems. The potential of Industrie 4.0 is immense, but how can digital aspects be integrated into existing production processes?

The International Center for Networked Adaptive Production (ICNAP) was founded to answer this question. It involves three Fraunhofer Institutes based in Aachen as well as experts from a total of now 27 industrial companies. The primary goal of ICNAP is to investigate and shape the implementation of digitization and Industry 4.0 in production through collaboration with companies. Through this research, ICNAP can support companies on their path to digitization.

In 2022, Fraunhofer researchers again conducted five one-year research projects in close cooperation with industrial partners. The condensed results are now available free of chargeto interested companies  in a recently published study report. The spectrum of topics covered by the five papers ranges from the sustainability of digital production and digital twin technologies to the secure and profitable handling of data in manufacturing companies.

Applications for process optimization with the digital twin

Because of a lack of real-time capabilities, there are still no solutions for using digital twins in many use cases that seem fundamentally suitable for it in principle. However, one of the five ICNAP studies revealed that the required infrastructure for real-time Digital Twin applications is already in place in many companies: With the help of actual use cases from production, Fraunhofer researchers analyzed how the Digital Twin can be integrated into manufacturing to prove the practical applicability of the Digital Twin for process optimization.

Shaping digital production sustainably

Digital infrastructures are becoming increasingly important in shaping future industry. At the same time, sustainability in production is also a major concern. That is why tone of the five ICNAP studies looks at how digital infrastructures can contribute to more sustainable production. In addition, this study looks at current rules, regulations and technologies that show how the digitization of industry can take place in a sustainable way.

Making data handling secure and profitable

Industrial companies increasingly often fall victim to cyber attacks in which data is compromised or stolen. At the moment, many companies are facing the task of selecting and implementing suitable data security concepts. This is why the third of ICNAP's five studies focuses on storing data and provides an overview of effective protection and security concepts as well as the necessary digital infrastructure. The fifth study shows the unique potential of data spaces to store or transmit data effectively. Data-based services can also be profitable for many companies if they know how to manage them. To this end, the fourth of the five studies examined various pricing models for data-based services offered by manufacturing companies, providing interested companies with an overview of current industry standards.

The study report is available todownload for free at

Further information on the International Center for Networked Adaptive Production ICNAP in Aachen, Germany: