Automated Design and Integration of Asset Administration Shells in Components of Industry 4.0

One of the central concepts in the principles of Industry 4.0 relates to the methodology for designing and implementing the digital shell of the manufacturing process components. This concept, the Asset Administration Shell (AAS), embodies a systematically formed, standardized data envelope of a concrete component within Industry 4.0. The paper discusses the AAS in terms of its structure, its components, the sub-models that form a substantial part of the shell's content, and its communication protocols (Open Platform Communication-Unified Architecture (OPC UA) and MQTT) or SW interfaces enabling vertical and horizontal communication to involve other components and levels of management systems. Using a case study of a virtual assembly line that integrates AASs into the technological process, the authors present a comprehensive analysis centered on forming AASs for individual components. In the given context, the manual AAS creation mode exploiting framework-based automated generation, which forms the AAS via a configuration wizard, is assessed. Another outcome consists of the activation of a virtual assembly line connected to real AASs, a step that allows us verify the properties of the distributed manufacturing management. Moreover, a discrete event system was modeled for the case study, enabling the effective application of the Industry 4.0 solution.
SENSORS. 2021, vol. 21, issue 6, p. 1-20.
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