RAMI 4.0 and Industrie 4.0 component

Two tools have now been created to provide a better overview of existing standards and technologies – the “reference architecture model Industrie 4.0” developed by the Plattform Industrie 4.0 and the “Industrie 4.0 components”.

Industrie 4.0 is an interdisciplinary topic in which the standards applicable in mechanical engineering, electronics, electrical engineering and communications and information technology need to be combined with the respective technologies needed for their implementation. The Plattform Industrie 4.0's Reference Architecture, Standards and Standardization working group has taken up this challenge and created the “reference architecture model (RAMI) Industrie 4.0” – a framework that enables standards to be identified in order to determine whether there is any need for additions and amendments. This model is complemented by the Industrie 4.0 components. Both results will be described in DIN SPEC 91345 in future.

“RAMI 4.0” framework provides structure

RAMI 4.0 is a framework that will help accomplish this task. It enables standards to be identified in order to determine whether there is a need for additions and amendments.

RAMI 4.0 is a three-dimensional layer model that compares the life cycles of products, factories, machinery or orders with the hierarchy levels of Industrie 4.0. The model divides existing standards into manageable parts. The objective is to provide a clear structure for the interdisciplinary topic of Industrie 4.0, thus fostering targeted discussion.

For medium-sized mechanical engineering companies, RAMI 4.0 provides a tool that enables and supports them in introducing and implementing non-manufacturer-specific solutions. In addition to standards, application scenarios and solutions are to be taken into account in the future. The model recommends the associated standards for each application scenario and solution. This can only be achieved if medium-sized mechanical engineering companies actively participate in this process, because, as both users and providers of Industrie 4.0 solutions, they have the expert knowledge required. This is the only way to ensure acceptance among users and providers.

“Industrie 4.0 component” connects “objects”

The Industrie 4.0 component complements the work of the Plattform Industrie 4.0 in connecting products, equipment and processes, thus bridging the gap between standards and Industrie 4.0 technologies at the production level. The Industrie 4.0 component is based on the so-called “physical objects”, which include components, modules, products, equipment such as machinery, tools and factories, and products such as software.

The new feature of the Industrie 4.0 component is the addition of an administration shell to the physical object in question. The administration shell is a virtual representation of the physical object and describes its functionalities. The Industrie 4.0 component can describe itself and carries entire data collections about its life cycle. Industrie 4.0-compliant communication also takes place via the administration shell of the Industrie 4.0 component, either in-house or via the Internet. Through connection of products, equipment and processes on the basis of information and communication technology, the real world is moving closer and closer to production in the virtual IT world. Physical objects and the administration shell come together to form the Industrie 4.0 component. The products and equipment designed as Industrie 4.0 components can communicate with one another, both within the factory and across companies.

Open communication necessary

The initial discussions on the vision of Industrie 4.0 are increasingly evolving into specific solutions for companies, ranging from conceptual prototypes to connected production segments. Yet there is no single perfect solution in this context. Instead it is a question of how each company interprets Industrie 4.0, as every company needs to think about what benefits it stands to gain from Industrie 4.0. However, Industrie 4.0 solutions can only be implemented successfully if there is open communication between companies. Connecting company know-how is the key to success, as Industrie 4.0 can ultimately only come to life if companies are connected at a technological level – intelligent connection is the key. As is the case with standards, the technologies required to implement Industrie 4.0 solutions in production are already available. The task at hand now is to connect these technologies intelligently and tailor them to the needs of specific companies Connecting know-how and the technologies available is the only way to fully exploit the potential of Industrie 4.0. This potential includes customer-specific production and the transition to new business models throughout the entire product life cycle – from conception to disposal.

Implementation Strategy 4.0 available for download

More information can be found in the Implementation Strategy 4.0, which is available for free download in the “Results” section on the website of the Plattform Industrie 4.0

More publications

  • Structure of the Administration Shell
    The main working paper of the WG reference architectures, standards and norms describes the thematic development of the RAMI architecture and the definition of the "administration shell".
  • Network-based communication for Industrie 4.0
    The discussionpaper of the the working group reference architectures, standards and norms is concerned with the global standardisation for communication networks in industrial applications.


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