From 27. - 29. April, the 16th IEEE Conference on Factory Communication Systems (WFCS 2020) took place virtually in Porto. The Covid-19 situation influenced the style but not the high-quality presentations of the conference.

This year’s WFCS celebrates its 25th anniversary. The first edition took place in Leysin, Switzerland, in 1995, followed by many others, at the beginning bi-annually and then annually. These events brought together a vibrant community working on communications for automation, with a focus on industrial automation, but also considering other forms of automation. The conference is supported by IEEE and Industrial Electronics Society (IES) and led by the IEEE Technical Committee on Factory Automation.

Currently, WFCS is the largest IEEE conference especially dedicated to communications for (industrial) automation systems. Its aim is to provide a forum for researchers, developers and practitioners to review and discuss most recent trends in the area and share innovative research directions.

The virtual conference was running well thanks to the organizing committee. Despite the lack of personal interaction, the digital presentations, and subsequent discussions were well attended.

A Special Session on "Trustworthiness and Security Focused Wireless Industrial IoT Networks" was organized by Hans-Peter Bernhard, Head of Research Unit Wireless Communications and Principal Scientist as SAL, supported by an international organizers team. The focus of this session was on advanced security for wireless sensor networks and IoT concepts for industrial use cases in domains like automotive, robotics, and smart manufacturing.

Moreover, researchers of Silicon Austria Labs and JKU presented three contributions:

  • Hans-Peter Bernhard, Julian Karoliny, Bernhard Etzlinger and Andreas Springer: RSSI-Based Presence Detection in Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks,
  • Núria Ballber Torres, Bernhard Etzlinger, Eshagh Dehmollaian and Andreas Springer: TDOA-enhanced Distance Bounding in the Presence of Noise
  • Leander Hoermann, Christian Kastl, Hans-Peter Bernhard, Peter Priller and Andreas Springer: Lifetime Security Concept for Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks

Finally, the paper „RSSI-Based Presence Detection in Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks“ presented by Hans-Peter Bernhard got the Best WIP Presentation Award of the WFCS 2020.

The WFCS 2020 was a successful conference for SAL and we are glad to announce that the WFCS 2021 will be held in Linz organized by SAL, JKU and LCM Linz.