+++++ Joint press release / Hannover, Saarbrücken +++++
A central aspect of changeable production environments in Industry 4.0 is an intelligent intersection of intralogistics and manufacturing processes as essential components of the value chain. To orchestrate this, online planning systems require planning-relevant information from the shopfloor before and during production, as well as suitable operational interfaces for real-time control of the assets involved. Assets refer to network-compatible components and objects in the value chain, such as machines, robots, and manufactured products.
In BaSynaos, suitable uniform interfaces were created for connecting external planning systems for logistics and production. For this purpose, an online planning software using the SYNAOS Intralogistics Management Platform (IMP) was linked to BaSys – the open-source middleware for Industry 4.0. The project partners SYNAOS and DFKI were able to make use of BaSys, which had been developed in the previous project BaSys 4.0/4.2 (https://www.basys40.de) and provides reference implementations of asset administration shells and control components.
In addition to the principle of the control component for a manufacturer-independent control of, for example, collaborative lightweight robots or mobile transport units, BaSys relies on uniform access to essential information facets of the assets through the administration shell. This technical realization of the digital twin of the production environment manages data, such as the technical specification of specific vehicle types, in standardized submodels. This also includes information about the topology of the production site, i.e., hierarchical relationships between production areas, manufacturing and logistics units, and storage areas.
The implementation and evaluation took place in the "German-Czech Innovation Laboratory for Human-Robot Collaboration in Industry 4.0" of the DFKI in Saarbrücken. There, the jointly created, partially virtualized demonstrator was successfully tested.
Andreas Luxenburger, BaSynaos project manager from DFKI’s Cognitive Assistants research department: "Together with SYNAOS GmbH as an extremely committed and competent partner and expert in the field of intralogistics planning, we succeeded in the project for the first time in connecting an online planner to BaSys and using it for an orchestration of a partially simulated production process."
Asset administration shells of involved robots, products, and methods were used in the production process. From this, the planner could continuously obtain relevant information in real time and adjust the planning accordingly. This included, for example, operating states and order situations, but also error states and unexpected events, which can often occur in the context of highly dynamic human-robot collaboration scenarios.
In controlling the robots via the principle of the control component as a manufacturer-independent operational interface, it was important from the outset that already established communication standards, such as the VDA5050 communication standard for mobile transport robots, are used and integrated accordingly in BaSys. Dr. Philipp Schäfers, Chief of Staff at SYNAOS GmbH: "The communication standard VDA5050 was a crucial factor for success in the BaSynaos project because, without standardization, the intelligent, data-based linking of intralogistics and manufacturing processes as essential components of the value chain is hardly feasible."
In BaSynaos, the project partners have thus created the basis for efficiently incorporating industrial AI solutions into production environments and significantly contributed to reducing manual integration and commissioning efforts. The know-how gained in the project can also be of use to other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), namely through the publication of corresponding submodel specifications as an interface as well as the publication of essential open-source software artifacts, which in turn are based on open-source frameworks such as Apache Kafka, which are now increasingly used in the industrial context.
Andreas Luxenburger, M.Sc.
DFKI Cognitive Assistants Research Department
Tel.: +49 681 85775 2565