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Automation Technologies 4/2016

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Automation Technologies 4/2016

RAMI 4.0 and IIRA

RAMI 4.0 and IIRA reference architecture models - perspective and focus INDUSTRIAL COMMUNICATION Frank Knafla, Johannes Kalhoff Comprehensive use of digitization and the Internet as the communication system is producing changes to products and their infrastructure and operation that transcend the boundaries of domains. To capitalize on them, data transmission via Industrial Ethernet in combination with the Internet of Things, Services, People, and Machines makes it necessary to develop smart applications. Networked systems are already being built as we speak. Sensors in these systems collect data on the physical world and then provide this information across all domains, this being made possible thanks to the system’s network capability. Bilaterally agreed communication relationships or the use of industry-specific data transfer standards will act to set the transition from networking to the Internet of Things, Services, People, and Machines in motion. According to several studies [4], over 25 billion ‘things’ will be connected to the Internet by 2020 (Figure 1). This is being done for two reasons: firstly, to leverage intelligent networking and the availability of the relevant information to establish the optimum value stream at any given point in time, and secondly, to generate new business models. This requires logical upgrades to components, systems, and solutions with the aim of creating interoperable concepts and radically simplifying the process of engineering and operating them. Balancing act between providing general descriptions and describing specific requirements The description and definition of a reference architecture model serve to break down functions, services, and processes into more manageable sub-processes. What’s more, they support the process of implementing the accompanying solutions. The dilemma faced when creating a model typically lies in the fact that it has to provide a generally accepted description based on technical rules and standards while also allowing specific requirements regarding numerous applications and use cases to be described. As such, a model serves as a highly generalized description within defined target parameters. These target parameters are derived from the capabilities of the domain to be described, the model’s impact with respect to implementation, and the system boundaries and interfaces that the model has to other models. Several different consortiums have thus been set up around the world for the purpose of drafting (ostensibly) different reference models from different perspectives and with different focal points. Two key concepts are the Industrie 4.0 reference architecture model (RAMI 4.0) by Plattform Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) model from the Industrial Internet Consortium. Digitization and the Internet of Thing, Services, People, and Machines are central components of both models. This raises the question of what parts of the models are complementary Author: Dipl.-Ing. Frank Knafla, Master Specialist, Industrie 4.0, Phoenix Contact Electronics GmbH, Bad Pyrmont, Germany; Dipl.-Ing. Johannes Kalhoff, Head of Technology Management, Corporate Technology, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, Blomberg, Germany AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 4/2016

(properties) or congruent (properties), and what processes and common features need to be developed to ensure maximum possible benefit for the user. This is not a question of either/or. It is instead a question of the methodical implementation of the overall structures, which are based on Internet mechanisms and include end-to-end digitization, in coordination between the principle bodies and standardization organizations. That is critically important from the perspective of the international target users and products used as well as for global companies. Hostile attitudes with a political, regional, or strategic background would slow down or create technical impediments to implementation or generate higher costs. Lifecycle, value stream and hierarchical approach Industrie 4.0 is a specialization within the Internet of Things and Services in the ‘Production and Product’ domain, integrating the engineering of production tools and products along with the service in use. A three-dimensional model describes the Industrie 4.0 space. Layers are used in the horizontal axis to represent various perspectives, such as data maps, functional descriptions, communication behavior, hardware (assets), and business processes. This corresponds with the IT approach of grouping complex projects into manageable sub-units. Other key criteria are the lifecycle (type) and service life (instance) of products and production systems with the value streams it contains. This is represented along the second axis. Dependencies, e.g., comprehensive data collection across all value streams, can be clearly represented within the RAMI 4.0 model. The third key aspect, represented in a further axis, is the allocation of functions and responsibilities within factories/plants. This represents a functional hierarchy, and not the device classes or hierarchical levels of the classic automation pyramid. The RAMI 4.0 reference architecture model expands the hierarchy levels of IEC 62264 by adding the ‘Product’ or workpiece level at the About Phoenix Contact The family owned company is based in Blomberg, Germany and generated a turnover of 1,91 Mrd Euros in 2015. The company has its own production sites in 10 countries, a global network of 50 sales subsidiaries and 30 local agencies, employing more than 14,500 people worldwide. It is amongst the top global players and innovators in the field of electrical engineering and automation. bottom, and the ‘Connected World’ going beyond the boundaries of the individual factory at the top. The special characteristics of RAMI 4.0 are therefore its combination of lifecycle and value stream with a hierarchically structured approach for the definition of Industrie 4.0 (I4.0) components. The concept allows for the logical grouping of functions and the mapping of interfaces and standards. This provides the conditions necessary to describe and implement highly flexible solutions using the reference architecture model. In this context, investment security is interpreted to mean using existing international standards, where possible, or harmonizing compatible standards or agreeing on alternative ones. Standards where they do not exist, as well as the processes to draft them, must be defined by international bodies as a means of ensuring there are no obstacles standing in the way of their speedy implementation and safe adoption. Along with the communication relationship, the semantics and syntax upon which data exchange is based serve as the basis of communication between the various parties involved. Not every domain shares the same language. However, if standardized rules are used, it is possible to transpose (or translate) any differences 01 According to various forecasts, roughly 26 billion ‘things’ will be networked in the Internet by 2020 AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 4/2016


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