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It is expected that future shop-floors will be populated by thousands of networked embedded devices. Those will not only communicate using IP (as in TCP/IP), but also feature some autonomy, allowing them to collaborate among themselves and with enterprise systems. As they can offer both their mechatronic and higher-level functions as a service and support dynamic deployment of new code, they can execute business logic locally, allowing for new classes of business processes that are executed collaboratively by back-end and embedded systems.
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