Industry 4.0 is an important manufacturing paradigm driving research and the enhancement of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies on a global scale. The expanding capabilities of IIoT technologies has risen to meet customer demand for intelligent, interconnected devices. Legacy Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) remain the industry standard for manufacturing and process control even though Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has emerged as a feature-rich market alternative. This paper compares and contrasts traditional closed systems and new FOSS in the context of Industry 4.0 trends through a literature review and reports on the resultant capabilities of their synthesis. A methodology for linking these previously independent systems through IIoT is presented via case study using a mobile autonomous robot to interact automatically with a custom process control training bench (PCTB) in a scenario analogous to a mobile delivery robot. The novelty of this research is the synthesis of traditional closed and open systems across a new class of smart device, the semi-proprietary IIoT network bridge. Hybridization, it is concluded, presents the most advantageous features of both proprietary systems and FOSS without many of the trade-offs typically encountered when employing technologies under either paradigm.

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