An Ontological View of the RAMI4.0 Asset Administration Shell

Andreas Müller, Irlán Grangel-González, Christoph Lange

Abstract

Information interoperability is of paramount importance to Industry 4.0 (I4.0). To this end, the Reference Architecture Model for I4.0 (RAMI4.0) defines the Asset Administration Shell (AS) concept as a core element for interoperable descriptions of assets. Assets, such as Cyber-Physical Systems, are building blocks that need to be interchangeable between various industrial systems but are heterogeneously modeled. In order to achieve the required interoperability between these systems, semantics is key. Typically, two types of systems occur in I4.0 scenarios: legacy systems not considering explicit semantics, and a new generation of ontology-based systems. However, existing approaches for modeling the AS do not explicitly address this situation of interoperability between systems of such different types. In this article, we develop an ontological view of the AS concept to bridge the gap between these types of systems. This results in an ontology that is intended to be likewise realizable with both ontology-based and non-ontology-based systems. We present this ontology together with a suggested two-phase engineering process for its application.

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