Digital interoperability for Industrie 4.0 (Project InterOpera)

Until now, many companies have interconnected their machines and analysed the data, which in this way became accessible. A time-consuming and expensive undertaking, even prohibitively expensive for many small or medium-sized companies. Yet new digital solutions not only make production more efficient and thus more profitable, but they also enable all links in a supply chain to be connected smoothly and with minimal effort to form a collaborative value network.  

A prerequisite for this, however, is interoperability. That is to say, a tool is needed that establishes a standardized and seamless exchange of information between all players in a uniform manner. In other words, all machines, regardless of which company they are in and which manufacturer they come from, should be able to receive and pass on important information as a uniform package and in the same language.  

In order to ensure this standardized exchange of information, all systems and components in the collaborative value network are surrounded by a so-called asset administration shell. Like a digital twin, it maps all objects and thus provides the interface for Industrie 4.0 communication. The asset administration shell is therefore composed of many different submodels that describe the properties and characteristics in detail. 

The "InterOpera" research project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, is aimed to achieve a standardized implementation of the asset administration shell in practice. The goal of the InterOpera project is to develop 50 concrete, practicable and interoperable submodels of the asset administration shell for as many business areas as possible along the guidelines of the Reference Architecture Model 4.0 (RAMI 4.0), from the store floor to general business processes. 

Realised by the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA and the Standardization Council Industrie 4.0 supported by the VDE DKE, the initiative thus makes a concrete contribution to the field of action interoperability in cooperation with the Industrie 4.0 platform. 

As a project partner, the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum is responsible in particular for project coordination as well as network building for Industrie 4.0 value networks. 

Further information: 

  • Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. 
  • Funding budget for all partners: 4.39 million euros 
  • Project duration: 03/2021 - 08/2023 

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Alexandra Fezer
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Alexandra Fezer

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