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Performance Evaluation of BaSyx based Asset Administration Shells for Industry 4.0 Applications

2023-02-01, Sauer, Christian Severin, Eichelberger, Holger

The Asset Administration Shell (AAS) is an upcoming information model standard, which aims at interoperable modeling of “assets”, i.e., products, machines, services or digital twins in IIoT/Industry 4.0. Currently, a number of IIoT-platforms use proprietary information models similar to AAS, but not a common standard, which affects interoperability.A key question for a broad uptake is if AAS can be applied in a performant and scalable manner. In this paper, we examine this question for the open source Eclipse BaSyx middleware. To explore capabilities and possible performance limitations, we present four experiments measuring the performance of experimental AAS in BaSyx and, within the context set by our experiments, i.e., 10-1000 AAS instances, can conclude good scalability.

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Analyzing and Improving the Performance of Continuous Container Creation and Deployment

2023, Alamoush, Ahmad, Eichelberger, Holger, Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V., Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.

Continuous Deployment automates the delivery of new versions of software systems. To ease installation and delivery, often container virtualization is applied. In this paper, we discuss the impact of different (Docker) container image creation techniques for variant-rich Industry 4.0 applications. Our results show that a combination of techniques like container image stacking or semantic fingerprinting can save up to 59% build time and up to 89% deployment time, while not affecting the container startup time.

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IIP-Ecosphere Platform - Requirements (Functional and Quality View)

2021-03-15, Eichelberger, Holger, Sauer, Christian Severin, Ahmadian, Amir Shayan, Schicktanz, Michael, Dewes, Andreas, Palmer, Gregory, Niederee, Claudia

This document elaborates the requirements for the IIP-Ecosphere platform. The requirements are based on discussions with the partners and the (representatives of the) work packages or subprojects of IIP-Ecosphere, such as the demonstrators. An overview of current Industry 4.0 platforms created in the project was included as a basis, as well as a requirements survey from a user perspective. The document comprises 141 requirements with a total of 181 sub-requirements in 14 topic areas and now serves to derive a common architecture as well as the realization of the IIP-Ecosphere platform. It is planned to update this document as new requirements emerge in order to serve as a basis for the IIP-Ecosphere ecosystem as well as for further platform developments.

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Variability modeling and implementation with EASy-producer

2020, Schmid, Klaus, Eichelberger, Holger, El-Sharkawy, Sascha, Lopez-Herrejon, Roberto

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Performance comparison of TwinCat ADS for Python and Java

2023, Weber, Alexander, Eichelberger, Holger, Schreiber, Per, Wienrich, Svenja, Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.

Real-time and in-process measurements are important in the manufacturing domain, e.g., for real-time process monitoring. For performance reasons, such data is often processed in virtualized environments on edge devices, as e.g., provided by the company Beckhoff. For exploring modern AI methods, integration with high-level languages such as Python or even with Industry 4.0 platforms for advanced data flows is needed. In this paper, we analyze the read/write perfor mance of a Beckhoff device integrated via Python or Java. For our experiments, we use a simulation on a PC as well as a networked setup with a Beckhoff device. We show that the Java-based solution is faster than the Python one by 2-3 times. We also show that small arrays can be read as fast as a single value, that there is no difference between operations for small or big data types and that there is no difference between reading and writing data.

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Requirements for an AI-enabled Industry 4.0 Platform – Integrating Industrial and Scientific Views

2022-04, Eichelberger, Holger, Stichweh, Heiko, Sauer, Christian Severin

Intelligent manufacturing is one goal of smart industry/ Industry 4.0 that could be achieved through Artificial Intelligence (AI). Flexibly combining AI methods and platform capabilities, such as dynamic offloading of code close to production machines, security or interoperability mechanisms are major demands in this context. However, recent Industry 4.0 software platforms fall short in various of these demands, in particular in upcoming ecosystem scenarios, e.g., when data or services shall be shared across platforms or companies without vendor lock-ins. The aim of the funded Intelligent Industrial Production (IIP) IIP-Ecosphere project is to research concepts and solutions for ‘easy-to-use’ AI in Industry 4.0 and to demonstrate the results in a prototypical software platform. Core questions are which demands shall drive the development of such a platform and how a feasible set of requirements can be determined that balances scientific and industrial interests. In this paper, we discuss our approach on eliciting requirements in this context for two interlinked requirements perspectives, a usage and a functional view. In summary, we collected 67 usage view activities / scenarios and 141 top-level requirements with 179 detailing sub-requirements. About 35% of the requirements have so far been realized in a prototype and some of the identified concepts are currently being taken up by a standardization initiative for edge devices in Industry 4.0.

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Current Industry 4.0 Platforms – An Overview

2021-02-15, Sauer, Christian Severin, Eichelberger, Holger, Ahmadian, Amir Shayan, Jürjens, Jan

This white paper provides an overview of current Industry 4.0 platforms, particularly from the perspective of the IIP-Ecosphere project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in the “KI-Innovationswettbewerb” (AI innovation competition). The focus is on topics such as interconnectivity, digital twins, openness, security and the use of AI in the context of smart manufacturing. The document describes the approach to data collection, the detailed results for individual industrial platforms, and a summarizing overview. A total of 21 industrial platforms are analyzed based on publicly available documents using 16 analysis topics. Both platforms and analysis topics originate from intensive discussions between the IIP-Ecosphere project partners. In particular, the analyzed platforms cover the required basic functions. For example, a wide range of communication protocols is often provided and a wide variety of cloud services are integrated. Even newer trends such as artificial intelligence can now be found in the platform descriptions. However, the range of functions also varies greatly among the platforms. Newer standards such as OPC-UA, UMATI or the Industry 4.0 Asset Administration Shell are often used only cautiously, if at all, which may be due in part to the development history, but also due to strategic considerations. Based on the cross-platform analysis of the 16 topic areas, we derive challenges for future platforms and especially for our work in IIP-Ecosphere. These include topics such as open ecosystems, extensible architectures with standardized interface descriptions, flexible and dynamic support for AI procedures, secure and unified data exchange (for data sharing, resource sharing, and data usage control) as well as end-to-end and consistent configurability that builds user trust in the respective platform. Standardization of (some of) these topics would be desirable to improve exchange and interoperability between platforms and platform ecosystems and to avoid vendor lock-ins.

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Experiences in Collecting Requirements for an AI-enabled Industry 4.0 Platform

2023, Sauer, Christian Severin, Eichelberger, Holger, Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.

Industry 4.0 software platforms target creation, provisioning and operation of industrial applications, e.g., on a shopfloor. Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), one pillar of Industry 4.0, lead to new demands. The funded project IIP-Ecosphere designs a novel, AI-enabled Industry 4.0 platform. As a basis, we applied two complementing requirements views, namely usage and functional view inspired by IIRA, and collected 67 usage view scenarios and 141 top level functional requirements. In this paper, we summarize our experiences on the requirements collection and discuss their effect on the yet realized platform.

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Is MLOps different in Industry 4.0? General and Specific Challenges

2022, Faubel, Leonhard, Schmid, Klaus, Eichelberger, Holger

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IIP-Ecosphere Platform Requirements (Usage View)

2021-02-05, Stichweh, Heiko, Sauer, Christian Severin, Eichelberger, Holger

This Whitepaper describes a shared view on the IIP-Ecosphere platform, which was developed as a core technical contribution of the IIP-Ecosphere Think Thank “Platforms”, to foster and complement the requirements collection of the platform, based on this shared view on envisioned platform functionality. Following the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture [IIRA], this Whitepaper describes the IIP-Ecosphere platform from the Usage Viewpoint. The Usage View on the IIP-Ecosphere platform that we discuss in this document represents the common view of all partners involved in the design, the subsequent implementation and, finally, the operations of the platform based on the voice of the prospective users of the platform in the IIP-Ecosphere community. The Usage View plays the role of a set of high-level usage-based requirements to drive the more detailed requirements collection to define the Functional View on the platform. The Usage View presented in this Whitepaper was collected in terms of a series of workshops with all interested project partners. Based on discussions of partners with interests in the platform and the platform architecture, i.e., the Think Tank “Platform” and the work package “AI Accelerator”, a joint vision of the IIP-Ecosphere is created. Based on the precursor work on the related edge configuration and management by the Lab Networks Industry 4.0 testbed “edge configuration” [LNI-UV], the authors used the joint vision as basis for creating a proposal of the system entities, the roles and the activities documenting the interaction to be supported by the IIP-Ecosphere platform. This proposal was discussed, as stated, with interested project partners in terms of a series of workshops, namely a general requirements workshop and several focus workshops. All workshops were online workshops, due to the Corona situation at the time of the workshops, using online collaboration techniques, such as interactive whiteboards, with two to three hours of interaction with the stakeholders and intermediate feedback phases between the workshops. All workshops first introduced the approach and provided space for the participants to discuss, improve and develop the system entities, the roles and, in particular, the activities. The shared Usage View is also aimed at supporting further discussions between the different Think Tanks of the IIP-Ecosphere platform, which are the Think Tanks: “Platforms”, “Data”, AI and Production” and “Business Models”. The shared Usage View established in this document therefore provides a basis for deriving/validating the functional and quality requirements of the overall platform and, thus, enables the subsequent work on the development of the concepts and solutions established in the shared Usage View presented in this Whitepaper. Due to time and resource limitations, it was important to prioritize the topics to be covered. For this current version of the Usage View, we jointly decided to focus on application building, distribution and AI services, as these topics strongly correlate with the technical foundations of the platform to be developed. For this focus, we describe a System under Consideration with 18 entities, 19 roles and 67 activities in this Whitepaper. As also important topics like interconnections between platform instances, security and data protection are currently not in this focus, we plan to initiate a second round of workshops and to update this Usage View accordingly.