The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and Plattform Industrie 4.0 recently published a whitepaper that explores digital-twin technology concepts and their practical application in an organisation.
The whitepaper, entitled ‘Digital Twin and Asset Administration Shell Concepts and Application’, provides concise definitions of digital-twin technologies, standards and use-cases. It also describes how the Plattform Industrie 4.0 Asset Administration Shell, an implementation of a digital-twin for industrial applications, enables cross-company-interoperability across the complete value stream.
“Digital-twin is a key enabler and widely applicable for various Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Plattform Industry 4.0 use-cases,” said Shi-Wan Lin, CTO, Yo-I Information Technology and Co-Chair of the IIC Technology Working Group. “Many organisations have implemented largely proprietary digital-twins, resulting in an undesirable situation in which digital-twin technologies and solutions are hard to share and reuse. We need a common understanding of the digital-twin concept, information, and interaction models to enable interoperability for a wider application of digital-twin technologies.”
The IIC developed a cross-industry general description and characterisation of digital-twin, including technical aspects and requirements in information modelling, information population, information synchronisation, APIs, connectivity, deployment, security, and interoperability. In parallel, Plattform Industrie 4.0 focused on interoperability by building consensus on concrete semantics based on use-cases involving digital-twins. The whitepaper compares IIC findings with the technical capabilities of the Asset Administration Shell.
“The Asset Administration Shell is ready-to-implement and provides comprehensive support to the key requirements for digital twins as described and characterised by the IIC,” said Dr. Birgit Boss, Robert Bosch GmbH and Chair of the Task Group on Asset Administration Shell of Plattform Industrie 4.0. “Furthermore, the Asset Administration Shell can support digital-twins beyond manufacturing use-cases, although each industry must perform a thorough analysis to determine the applicability of the administration shell within its respective domain. Interoperability across industries is important for enabling new use cases and business models based on digital-twins.”