One of the goals of industry 4.0 is to be able to exchange devices with the same capabilities in a production plant without having to change the control system. The BaSys 4.0 project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aims to solve this challenge in a practical way with the concept of service-based manufacturing. With the help of the Eclipse BaSyx, Fraunhofer IESE from Kaiserslautern and other project partners enable even small and medium-sized companies to make convertible manufacturing a reality. The term Industry 4.0 does not stand for a single technology, but for a new production concept. It is about adapting production to constantly increasing quality requirements, more rapidly changing markets and a greater product variety. The changeable production in lot size 1 is one of the main goals. However, it is also about open, highly networked automation systems that achieve end-to-end networking and thus enable access to production data, product information and the status of devices at any given time. Big-data analyses find optimization potential to predict errors and to work even more efficiently. Companies cannot achieve these goals with the typical IT infrastructure found in production plants today. Eclipse BaSyx, the open source Industrie 4.0 platform, helps to make production fit for the future.
The national reference research project BaSys 4.2 designs the middleware for industry 4.0 applications. The implementation project Eclipse BaSyx provides these as an open source reference implementation and implements central industry 4.0 concepts. This enables companies to develop their own solutions for Industry 4.0 today. BaSys 4.0 remains closely linked to the standardization committees, such as Platform Industrie 4.0, in order to implement standards (e.g. the Asset Administration Shell) and share valuable experience with the committees. The core of Eclipse BaSyx is service-oriented manufacturing. This separates the implementation of a service from the production process that invokes the service. This addresses a central problem in the transformation of today's production processes: programmable logic controllers (PLC) define the production process, which is distributed over implementations in numerous PLCs. Changing the process in one place has side effects that require adjustments in many PLCs, for example, because the meaning of signals or messages changes. This leads to expensive downtimes. Service-oriented manufacturing separates the services from the process. The manufacturing process is described in an orchestrator that calls the services. Thanks to Eclipse BaSyx, PLCs no longer need to know when which service is required for the production of a workpiece and therefore do not need to be reprogrammed when the service sequence for a production process changes. Only the orchestrator is changed. Since it is defined at a higher level of abstraction, for example using Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), this change is much easier and therefore more efficient than reprogramming a PLC.
In Eclipse BaSyx the Asset Administration Shell serves as a general communication interface. It is the digital twin of components and devices and is currently being standardized by Platform Industrie 4.0. The basic idea is that every asset in production, e.g. a machine, a production line, a product or even a worker has a corresponding management shell, which contains or refers to all information about this asset in digital form. This standardization of access to assets by means of Asset Administration Shells not only increases the reusability of software, but also the changeability. This means that devices with the same production capabilities can be exchanged for each other at will without having to change a control system.
In addition to economical production up to lot size 1, Eclipse BaSyx offers further advantages. For example, applications that predict maintenance intervals can be implemented. In order to avoid downtimes, companies can change the configuration of the production process in advance - practising “Predictive Maintenance” - and thus avoid downtimes. In addition, the middleware enables the production process to be monitored from the office floor. Today, if a new device is to be connected to a production cell, the change must be transmitted over several levels on the shop floor until it reaches the systems on the office floor. This makes the maintenance of production equipment and systems very inflexible. With Eclipse BaSyx this becomes possible. In addition to the required device maintenance, the real-time data is available for various analyses, e.g. for optimizing the manufacturing process or to ensure product quality and reduce scrap.
Fraunhofer IESE, NetApp and objective partner are jointly developing the Industry 4.0 solution “Shopfloor 4.0”. NetApp provides the IT stack, Fraunhofer IESE integrates Eclipse BaSyx, and objective partner provides first-level support for the solution which integrates Eclipse BaSyx with SAP processes. Information about Shopfloor 4.0: https://www.objective-partner.de/shopfloor-40-flexibilitaet-in-der-fertigung/