In collaboration with FIWARE and PROSTEP (for the full list of contributing partners see box), the International Data Spaces Association has created a testbed that demonstrates how data sovereignty, blockchain, and open source technologies can be jointly used to break information silos. It can, hereby, provide a seamless and controlled exchange of data across digital twins.
There is a special bond between the digital twin and the physical world it represents. The digital twin has largely been a product lifecycle concept for design and performance simulation of discrete products. Now, new kinds of digital twins are available to support and improve specific manufacturing plant production processes through cyber-physical systems and obtain a better understanding of the product performance in operation through IoT.
Each of these various kinds of digital twins has been developed as a siloed solution, each dealing with different manufacturing processes across the product lifecycle.
The data exchange among digital twins breaking these silos opens the door for manufacturers to receive unprecedented insights, visibility and automation opportunities. This, in turn, leads to efficiency improvements in product design, product performance and manufacturing process operations.
The Trusted Digital Twin testbed demonstrates how FIWARE’s and IDSA’s open source technology, as well as SAMPL secure 3D printing technology, can be used to provide a seamless and controlled exchange of data across digital twins based on open international standards (prostep ivip, QIF) and the SAMPL blockchain technology.
This will allow companies to dramatically improve cost, quality, timeliness, and business results through enhanced traceability, process workflow automation, and improved product and manufacturing process knowledge.
Data Exchange Between Machines in the Shopfloor for Zero Defect Manufacturing (ZDM)
Currently, machines chained on the shop floor as part of the manufacturing process are working as information silos. They are ‘physically’ connected because the part treated by one machine is passed to the next machine in the chain, which in turns treats this part and passes it on to the next. Each of those machines generates a large amount of data, which so far has been used to monitor and improve the processes and tasks each machine performs. However, systems associated with each machine are not designed to exploit data from others when improvements can be gained if the data from one machine ‘feeds’ the systems connected to the other and if such exchange is made in a way that is secure. Access control terms and conditions established by each individual machine provider are hereby preserved and the shop floor operator is also the final decision-maker. The operator, therefore, defines what is exchanged and what for, and whether it goes out of the factory.
The testbed demonstrates how factories can benefit from IDS concepts and FIWARE open source technology. It showcases the enhanced functionalities for the improvement of processes or the support of smart decisions, through the management of context data exported by the factory.
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The International Data Spaces (IDS) are a peer-to-peer network, a virtual data space that supports the secure exchange and the simple linking of data in business eco-systems on the basis of standards and by means of common governance models. IDS is managed by the International Data Spaces Association, a European non-profit association with currently 100 members from numerous industries, ICT and research across 18 countries, predominantly European.
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