BaSyx / Benefits
The BaSyx open source platform puts a focus on enabling Industry 4.0 scenarios. Currently, we focus on the following scenarios:
- Service based production
- Service based production is a core concept of the BaSys 4.0 project. Today, PLC controllers control the production by running cyclic programs. Changing a production consequently implies the changing of PLC programs on all affected controllers. As PLC controllers are programmed in low-level languages, such as structured text, this task is both time- and effort consuming and requires the involvement of specialists. This considerably limits changeability. BaSys 4.0 realizes a service based production. PLC controllers still implement the real-time production steps but provide them via re-useable, callable services with a defined interface. The overall process control is handled by a process control component that controls invocation of these services. At the process level, real-time is no longer essential, allowing the service orchestrator to be deployed to an industrial PC. This allows an easier reprogramming using e.g. scripting or BPMN engines. This way, rapid changing of production processes is possible by changing service orchestration and service parameters. Updating of PLC is only necessary when implementing new services.
- End-to-end communication
- End-to-End communication enables direct communication between different layers of the automation pyramid. Currently, a variety of communication technologies and protocols makes the communication across layers of the automation pyramid difficult. BaSyx mitigates this with a virtual automation bus that defines abstract communication primitives. BaSyx gateways map these abstract primitives to concrete protocol operations and enable an end-to-end communication across protocol and technology borders.
- Asset Administration Shells
- Asset Administration Shells (AAS) are digital objects that enable access to information, properties, and services via a defined interface. All relevant Industry 4.0 entities, for example products, workers, devices, and plants have an Asset Administration Shell. An AAS defines core properties, such as a unique ID and version number that identifies an AAS, as well as a list of sub models. AAS sub models contain properties and operations that depend on the sub model type. Different sub model providers enable provisioning of different input data as AAS sub models.
- Defined sub model types
- Defined sub model types define meta models (which define how to structure data) for commonly used sub models.
- Registry and Discovery service
- The registry and discovery service is used to find relevant assets like devices, products and workers in factories. The technical means to achieve that is by storing the AAS of these assets in the AAS registry. The registry enables AAS to register themselves and the looking up of a specific AAS by Industry 4.0 components that are looking for an AAS.
BaSyx benefits and use-cases
BaSys 4.0 enables the digitisation of manufacturing processes and the implementation of Industry 4.0. Eclipse BaSyx is an Open-Source reference implementation of BaSys 4.0 concepts that include common Industry 4.0 components and a Software Development Kit (SDK) that supports the development of new components. Eclipse BaSyx did originate from the BaSys 4.0 project, which is funded by the german ministry of Research and Education. The following examples highlight common Industry 4.0 use-cases that can be realized with the BaSyx middleware:
Digitisation of manufacturing process
BaSys 4.0 enables end-to-end digitisation of manufacturing processes. This enables end-to-end communication between devices in office floor and in shop floor and therefore breaks the automation pyramid. BaSys 4.0 supports horizontal and vertical networking of production devices:
- Horizontal networking is the connection of devices along the production process. BaSys 4.0 defines communication primitives, and interfaces that enables devices from different vendors and different device types to communicate with each other, regardless of used protocol or network.
- Vertical networking is the connection of entities in different levels of the automation pyramid, e.g. a connection between an ERP system in office floor and a device in shop floor. Linking office- and shop floor enables for example a better control of production and the creation of dashboards that visualize the production status in one place. Operators do not have to move to machines to query their status and faults are detected much faster.
BaSys 4.0 uses Asset Administration Shells (AAS) and AAS sub models to structure information. End-to-end communication across network is supported by defined communication primitives and by BaSys 4.0 gateways that bridge networks and protocols to yield one end-to-end communication medium, the Virtual Automation Bus (VAB).
Product guiding its production / Multiple product types on same production line
BaSys 4.0 supports Asset Administration Shells for all relevant entities of the production. Relevant entities include for example the produced products, devices, and workers. Asset Administration Shells (AAS) reference sub models that structure information. This information includes for example the recipe for a product that describes production steps and parameter. AAS sub models also describe device capabilities. Control components can access the production data of each product through its AAS and configure devices accordingly, which yields a production system that adapts to the needs of every single product.
The service-based production approach of BaSys 4.0 enables changeable production. In context of service-based production, machine controllers, e.g. PLC controllers, implement base services, whose control programs and safety functions need to implement real-time behavior. Orchestration of these services is not by the PLC controllers but by a designated orchestrator, e.g. group control components that implement higher-level production services, or an agent that executes the product production process. Orchestrators combine and parametrize production services. Changing the service orchestration is much easier than changing the PLC code, because it is specified on a higher level of abstraction. Changing a production by changing the orchestration is faster, and much less error-prone than changing low-level PLC code. This way, e.g. the night-shift can configure new product types.
Product recipes in this case invoke services offered by controllers and define parameter for service invocation. An orchestrator, e.g. a Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) Engine, implements the product agent that controls its production. The production agent for a product controls its manufacturing steps and invokes transportation and manufacturing services. This enables the processing of different product types on the same assembly line.
Documenting product quality
More and more manufacturers are faced with the challenge that they need to document the individual quality of each manufactured product. This quality data is available in machines, however, it is not collected, aggregated, and stored in a central entity. Furthermore, no standardized interfaces exist to pass this quality data from a manufacturer to the commissioner. Asset Administration Shells are digital data structures that are being standardized at the moment that represent important entities of the production process like products, devices, and workers. With their standardized structure, they enable the exchange of data between stakeholders. Sub models of product Asset Administration Shells (AAS) may represent different kinds of information. This includes information regarding the product quality, which has been collected during production steps. BaSys 4.0 enables storing of this information in the product AAS to enable automatic documentation of product quality that can optionally be passed to stakeholders.
Optimizing production processes
Dynamic optimization of production processes has significant potential. The dynamic scheduling of tasks to worker stations for example has proven to be superior to static schedules, because it is able to react on changing working times and resource availability. Dynamic optimization of production processes however requires live-data from shop-floor devices and the ability to control production. BaSys 4.0 enables the collection of live-data from the shopfloor, and its organization in Asset Administration Shells and their sub models. HTTP-Rest and TCP interfaces enable the integration of storage systems and data lakes that support data analysis and implementation of optimization strategies.
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