Asset Administration Shell Generation and Usage for Digital Twins:
A Case Study for Non-destructive Testing
Fatih Yallıç
, Özlem Albayrak
and Perin Ünal
Research and Development, TEKNOPAR, Teknopark Ankara 224. Street, F111, Ankara, Turkey
Keywords: Asset Administration Shell (AAS), Industry 4.0, International Data Spaces (IDS), Industrial Data Space (IDS),
Digital Twin, Interoperability, None Destructive Testing (NDT)
Abstract: In a real manufacturing site, containing non-destructive testing machinery components and sensors, we have
implemented and validated Asset Administration Shell, using different tools and technologies. The tools
included emerging technologies-related tools, such as Administration Shell IO, Eclipse BaSyx, and low code
programming software for event-driven applications, namely Apache StreamPipes and Node-RED. We have
also developed International Data Spaces connectors for data exchange using previously created Asset
Administration Shells. All of the implementations in the case study have been implemented by the same
developer, the first author, while the developed outputs have been verified and validated by different various
testers. In this paper, we present the emerging digital twin technologies, and share different solution
architectures using these technologies for the purpose of secure, standard and interoperable digital twin
solutions, and data exchange between different International Data Spaces connectors. We conclude that the
presented designs are easy to implement. We found Admin Shell IO to be easier to use than the Eclipse BaSyX.
Our future studies will contain the use of Fraunhofer Advanced Asset Administration Shell Tools for digital
twin development in the same environment, and a comparison of the implementations using different
methodologies and tools.
With the evolution of technology, changes in smart
manufacturing and society are accelerating at
unexpected paces (Boss, et. al. 2020). Industry 4.0
brings new challenges regarding the automatization
of IoT networks to perform information exchange in
a timely, reliable and uniform way (Alonso, et. al.
2018). Digital twins are known to be key enables for
various IoT and Industry 4.0 use cases (Boss, et. al.
2020, Albayrak and Ünal, 2020, Unal, et. al., 2022).
IoT focuses on connecting physical devices to the
internet, and collecting telemetry data, while Digital
Twins focus on organizing the collected data and
representing it in a standard way to enable the
application of Artificial Intelligence and business
rules on this data (Jacoby, et. al, 2022). Internet of
Things (IoT) devices could utilize communication
protocols compliant with Industry 4.0 (such as
Without their interoperability, integrating all of
these protocols with various data structures would
require significant effort, and their potential would
not be fully exploited (Pribiš, et. al., 2021). Plattform
Industrie 4.0 made interoperability one of its strategic
fields for 2030 (Boss, et. al. 2020). Interoperability
enables cooperation and open ecosystems that permit
plurality and flexibility. In order to realize
interoperability, standards, decentralized systems,
integration, and a uniform regulatory framework, are
needed (14 in Boss, et. al. 2020).
Asset Administration Shell appears to be the key
concept of Platform Industrie 4.0 in order to enable
interoperability. The AAS can directly be adopted to
implement Digital Twins. As a result, all industries
may benefit from an open and standardized meta-
model, standardized data models with homogenized
Yallıç, F., Albayrak, Ö. and Ünal, P.
Asset Administration Shell Generation and Usage for Digital Twins: A Case Study for Non-destructive Testing.
DOI: 10.5220/0011561400003329
In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Innovative Intelligent Industrial Production and Logistics (IN4PL 2022), pages 299-306
ISBN: 978-989-758-612-5; ISSN: 2184-9285
2022 by SCITEPRESS – Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
semantics and standardized APIs and infrastructure
It is also a fact that Industry and Non-Destructive
Evaluation (NDE) are growing together with the
fourth industrial revolution. It will eventually lead to
improved awareness of NDE (Vrana, 2021).
This article aims to implement the key emerging
technologies regarding Digital Twins and apply them
in a real manufacturing site’s non-destructive testing
environment. The technologies validated are AAS
and IDS.
The organization of the rest of the paper is as
follows: Section 2 presents background information
related to the emerging technologies that are
associated with Digital Twins. The technologies/tools
used and presented in this study are Asset
Administration Shell (AAS), Eclipse BaSyx and
International Data Spaces (IDS). Section 3
summarizes the case study conducted by describing
the environment of the case study and the work
performed by using the already briefed technologies
and tools. Finally, Section 4 concludes the study, and
presents future research to be conducted
Being the digitalization of manufacturing, Industry
4.0 integrates processes, devices, workers, products,
and all other relevant assets in one unified digital
system, and defines the domain of smart
manufacturing (Eclipse BaSyx). For Industry 4.0, the
term asset refers to any object that has value for an
organization. Assets in Industry 4.0 can be a
production system, a product, a software installation,
intellectual properties or human resources (AAS,
Assets have a logical representation in the
"information world", and they are managed by
information technologies systems. Hence, an asset
has to be identified as an entity, has a specific state
within its life, has communication capabilities, is
represented by means of information, and is able to
provide technical functionality. This logical
representation of an asset is called Administration
Shell (AAS, 2022). The combination of asset and
Administration Shell forms the so-called Industry 4.0
Component. In international papers, the term smart
manufacturing is also used for the term Industry 4.0.
2.1 Asset Administration Shell
The Asset Administration Shell (AAS) is the
standardized digital representation of the asset, and
also is an important element of the interoperability
between the applications managing the
manufacturing systems. AAS proposes a standardized
electronic representation of industrial assets enabling
Digital Twins and interoperability between
automated industrial systems and Cyber-Physical
Systems (CPS) (Iñigo, et. al. 2020). AAS, the concept
was introduced to provide data and information in a
standardized, and semantically described manner, in
order to enable interoperability and easy interaction
(Fuchs, 2019). Thus, AAS is considered as
being one of the key components of Industry 4.0
(Tantik and Anderl, 2017a, Bader and Maleshkova,
2019, Marcan, et. al., 2018, Ye, et. al., 2021).
AAS needs to provide a minimal and sufficient
description according to the different application
scenarios in Industry 4.0 (AAS, 2022). Different
standards, consortium and manufacturer
specifications can contribute to this definition.
Capturing the information about the AAS itself, AAS
can be taken as the digital representation or Digital
Twin of the Asset (Bader and Maleshkova, 2019).
The AAS is composed of a series of sub-models
(AAS, 2022). Each of these sub-models represents a
different aspect of the asset under consideration. The
sub-models may contain a description relating to
safety or security and also outline various process
capabilities such as assembling and process control.
AAS does not prescribe what content it contains.
Content is modelled by means of sub-models.
Implementation of the Administration Shell security
has to be together with the implementation of other
components. Each sub-model of AAS contains a
structured quantity of properties that can refer to data
and functions. A standardized format based on IEC
61360-1/ ISO 13584-42 is envisaged for the
properties. Data and functions may be available in
various complementary formats. The properties of all
the sub-models result in a constantly readable
directory of the key information of the Administration
In order to enable binding semantics,
Administration Shells, assets, sub-models and
properties must all be identified. Global identifiers
that can be utilized are IRDI (e.g. in ISO TS 29002-
5, ECLASS and IEC Common Data Dictionaries) and
URIs (Unique Resource Identifiers, e.g. for
ontologies). It should be possible to filter elements of
the Administration Shell or sub-models according to
different given views.
There are three types of AAS specified:
Type 1 or Passive AAS is a static file serialized as
JSON, AXML or AASX. In order to exchange
information, the file needs to be passed by manually.
ETCIIM 2022 - International Workshop on Emerging Trends and Case-Studies in Industry 4.0 and Intelligent Manufacturing
Type 2 or Reactive AAS is a software component
where information exchange is realized automatically
by means of external software that communicates
with the AAS by means of API utilization. Finally,
Type 3 or Proactive AAS is a software component
that supports communication via I4.0 languages,
where information exchange is realized via direct
communication among AASs (Jacoby,, 2022).
Every AAS must be secure (Boss, et. al. 2020).
Access permission rules can be defined to describe
the permissions an authenticated subject has on which
Tantik and Anderl wrote the potential of AAS for
Service Oriented businesses, and concluded that
future use cases which include applications for
monitoring and remote control of the entity would not
be challenging (Tantik and Anderl, 2017a). The
authors also stated that with AAS using a
standardized external interface, seamless
interoperability would be possible. Mohr, et. al.
conducted a case study with AAS to present
interoperable digital twins in the IIoT system (Mohr,, 2019).
A semantic AAS was developed (Bader and
Maleshkova, 2019). Information provided by an AAS
can be adopted during the whole life cycle of a
production system (Cavalieri and Salafia, 2020). The
authors presented the use of AAS metamodel in order
to represent an IEC 61131-3 program and its
relationships with the real plant controlled (Cavalieri
and Salafia, 2020). AAS integrated with PLM/ALM
was demonstrated (Deuter and Imort, 2020).
While some researchers presented a methodology
of AAS implementation into an embedded system,
showing dramatically reduced system requirements
(Pribiš, et. al., 2021), and Casado and Eichelberger
(2021) presented resource monitoring with
micrometer and AAS. Park, et. al. 2021, proposed
Virtual REpresentation for a DIgital twin application
(VREDI): an asset description for the operation
procedures of a work-center-level digital twin
Having briefed what AAS is, and provided an
overview of some of the ASS related studies
conducted, the next subsection list two of the AAS
tools that are utilized in the case study:
Administration Shell IO, and Eclipse BaSyx. The
selection of the tools was based on the authors’
subjective estimation of the tools’ level of recognition
in the community and the projects’ maturity levels.
2.2 AAS Tools
The top-level project “Digital Twin” of the Eclipse
Foundation is the home of many projects that are
related to the AAS (Eclipse Digital Twin, 2022). The
Eclipse Digital Twin Top-Level Project provides a
space for open-source projects to produce
implementations, and increase the adoption of
solutions, prototypes and supporting software to build
and consume information from digital twins (Eclipse
Digital Twin, 2022). The Top-Level Project supports
the ecosystem orchestrated by the Industrial Digital
Twin Association (IDTA) (Eclipse Digital Twin,
As stated by Tantik and Anderl (2017b), the
Industry 4.0 components can be enabled to manage
the production process autonomously, and additional
applications will be implemented into the AAS to
increase their functionality.
Within the scope of this study, developments have
been conducted using Admin-Shell-IO and BaSyx
open-source projects. As low-code software
development tools Apache StreamPipes and Node-
RED have been utilized (Apache StreamPipes, Node-
2.2.1 Admin Shell IO
Admin Shell IO offers software to create AAS and
display the generated AAS on the UI screen. The
Admin Shell IO software is composed of: AASX
Package Manager, and AASX Server. The Eclipse
AASX Package Explorer application of Admin Shell
IO is used to create and view AAS. While, the AASX-
Server application keeps the AAS that is generated by
the AASX-Server Package Manager on a server,
provides the visualization of the AAS, sub-model and
sub-model elements by means of the UI screen. UI
provides ease of use for Admin Shell IO.
The Eclipse AASX Package Explorer is an open-
source browser and editor for creating AASs as .aasx
packages. The Eclipse AASX Package Explorer is a
tool with a graphical user interface aimed at
experimenting and demonstrating the potential of
AASs targeting the different levels of users, ranging
from tech-savvy to less technically-inclined users.
The Eclipse AASX Package Explorer includes an
internal REST server and OPC UA server for the
loaded file.AASX format (Eclipse AASX Package
Explorer, 2022). The Eclipse AASX Package
Explorer supports the XML and JSON serialization of
the AAS. Export formats for AutomationML or
server generation for OPC UA, and BMEcat are also
Asset Administration Shell Generation and Usage for Digital Twins: A Case Study for Non-destructive Testing
provided by the Eclipse AASX Package Export. New
features are added continuously to the software.
2.2.2 BaSyx
BaSys 4.0 defines a reference architecture for
production systems that enables the transition to
Industry 4.0. Eclipse BaSyx is the BaSys open source
project at the Eclipse Foundation (Eclipse BaSyx,
2022, BaSyx/ WhatIsBasyx, 2022).
Eclipse BaSyx™ implements an open-source
Industry 4.0 middleware that supports the digitization
of production environments (Eclipse BaSyx, 2022).
Essential components include the AAS as the
foundation for the development of digital twins, a
registry component, persistency providers, and
several container applications that simplify the
creation of common Industry 4.0 applications, such as
dashboards (Eclipse BaSyx, 2022).
Being another open-source implementation for
the AAS, BaSyx provides software development kits
for commonly used programming languages: C++,
C# and Java (AAS, 2022).
BaSys 4.0 addresses the changeability of
production processes as one major goal of Industry
4.0. Changeable production addresses unplanned
changes in production processes. Changing a
production requires (manual) intervention with the
production line. The major goal of BaSyx is to reduce
the resulting downtime to a minimum (BaSyx/
WhatIsBasyx, 2022).
BaSyx components are structured into four layers:
The field level contains automation devices, sensors,
and actuators without a specific BaSys conforming
interface. The device-level contains automation
devices that offer a BaSys 4.0 conforming interface.
Bridging devices that implement BaSys 4.0
conforming interfaces for field devices that do not
provide a conforming interface by themselves are part
of the device level as well. The middleware level
consists of re-useable Industry 4.0 components that
implement required generic, and plant-independent
capabilities for Industry 4.0 production lines.
Registry and Discovery services, protocol gateways,
and AAS providers reside on the middleware level.
Finally, the plant level contains high-level plant
components that manage, optimize, and monitor
production (BaSyx/ WhatIsBasyx, 2022,
Basissystem, 2022).
Eclipse BaSyx includes: Server component, the
Registry component and Java SDK (Implementing
the Industrie 4.0, 2020). The BaSyx Industry 4.0 SDK
encapsulates the BaSyx interface and communication
with APIs. It enables the development of Industry 4.0
components and the integration of devices and
applications into Industry 4.0 environments.
2.3 Industrial Data Spaces
With the wide application of digitalization, data
become of most importance in many domains, and
manufacturing is not an exception (Alonso, et. al,
2012, Nast, et. al, 2021). EC is constantly
encouraging governmental-business data sharing for
many topics, and EU dataspaces are commonly
requested and used for various reasons (Piest, et. al.,
The main objective of International Data Spaces
(IDS) is to support organizations of any type to enjoy
the benefits of digitalization without increasing their
risks (Uslander and Teuscher, 2022, Niskanen, 2022).
IDS was created in a research project involving
multiple Fraunhofer institutes (Alonso, 2018).
The Industrial Data Space Association (IDSA) aims
at continuous development, exploitation and
sustainability of the IDS (Alonso, et. al. 2018).
IDS offers participants the to exchange secure and
trusted data for greater benefit while maintaining their
data control (Nast, et. al., 2021, Niskanen, 2022).
Within the context of IDS, IoT devices are only data
providers. On the other hand, a data consumer
connects to a connector to retrieve IoT data (Nast, et.
al. 2021).
Industrial Data Space Reference Architecture
Model (IDS-RAM) was developed in order to achieve
a reliable exchange of data between organizations and
platforms that are developed by different vendors
(Gan, et. al. 2021). IDS-RAM emphasizes technical
and organizational security, integrity and authenticity
of data transactions for sovereign data exchange
(Wortel, et. al. 2020). The standards materialize in the
IDS-RAM and DIN SPEC 27070:2020-03 (2020)
define methods for secure data exchange between the
various IDS connectors (Gan, et. al. 2021, Barnstedt,
et. al., 2021).
Alonso et. al and Arcentales et. al. implemented
IDS structure-related components using FIWARE
(Alonso, et. al., 2018, Arcentales, et. al. 2020).
Digital Twins play critical roles in many sectors,
hence, data exchange across company borders
becomes more and more important resulting in
interoperability, transparency and openness being key
success factors. IDS has an important role in these
factors (Curry, et. al., 2021). Non-destructive systems
have high potential utilization for digital twins.
ETCIIM 2022 - International Workshop on Emerging Trends and Case-Studies in Industry 4.0 and Intelligent Manufacturing
This section presents the environment that has been
used to conduct the case study. The section also
presents the associated work performed by using
different tools and technologies that are related to
AAS and IDS generation and utilization at the real
manufacturing site’s testing facility. When
implementing an AAS for non-destructive testing, the
assets modeled are special.
3.1 Case Study Environment
The implementation of the AAS in real industrial
scenarios is not common (Iñigo, et. al. 2020).
However, the work associated with this case study has
been conducted at a real manufacturing plant. The
plant produces spirally welded steel pipes. The case
study was performed on the Non-Destructive Testing
(NDT) machinery of the plant where X-Ray
technology is being utilized for testing purposes.
The AAS has been implemented by integrating an
NDT ecosystem with X-Ray machinery and a sensor.
The implementation in this case study facilitates the
utilization of the X-Ray machinery components with
sensor data or machines in a real steel pipe
manufacturing plant, validating the AAS use in a
manufacturing environment for non-destructive
testing scenarios.
3.2 Work Performed using Admin
Shell IO
In this study, using the AASX Package Manager
software, AAS has been created for four different
components of an X-Ray machinery: X-Ray
Generator, X-Ray Tube, X-Ray Motor Execution, and
X-Ray Motor Rotation.
The created AASs have been exported in .aasx
format to be uploaded to AASX Server. Exported
files have been uploaded to AASX Server. When
AASs are uploaded to the server, data can be written
and read from outside with REST/API.
In this application, the data from MQTT has been
written to AAS with a Python script. Thus, AAS has
been created by Admin Shell IO and data including
dynamic sensor data can be written and read.
In addition, a data source has been written on
Streampipes, which reads the data from the AASX
Server and transfers it to the Apache StreamPipes
environment. MQTT incoming data is written to
AAS, and AAS data is transferred to Apache
StreamPipes thanks to the Apache StreamPipes data
source (Apache StreamPipes, 2022). Enabling low
code, even close to no-code, application
development, Apache StreamPipes is a self-service
IIoT toolbox to enable non-technical or novice users
to connect, analyze and explore IoT data streams. The
architectural diagram of the study is given in Figure
Figure 1: The architecture using Admin Shell IO.
3.3 Work Performed using Eclipse
Using Eclipse BaSyx and Node-RED (Node-RED,
2022), architecture has been designed and
implemented based on AAS.
Built on Node.js, Node-RED is a programming
tool for bringing APIs, hardware and online services.
The generated architecture is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: The architecture using Eclipse BaSyx.
An AAS has been created for the X-Ray machine
using the Eclipse BaSyx Java SDK, and a sensor has
been added as a Sub-model. The generated X-Ray
AAS has been registered in the Eclipse BaSyx AAS
Registry component.
After creating X-Ray AAS, and registering to the
Registry using Eclipse Basyx Java SDK, a proxy for
AAS was created using Basyx Java SDK. Thanks to
AAS Proxy; AAS, the sub-model, and the AAS data
Asset Administration Shell Generation and Usage for Digital Twins: A Case Study for Non-destructive Testing
can be accessed with the REST API. For example, the
Node-RED module receives data by submitting a
GET request to this Proxy.
In this case study, the following actions have been
An AAS with Eclipse BaSyx has been
The generated AAS has been registered
using BaSyx Registry Component, and
A proxy for HTPP API has been created.
A new node named “Get AAS xray” has been
developed for the Node-RED tool using the created
API. The developed node sends a request to the proxy
asking for AAS data, and the sensor data is retrieved
in response to the request. Node-RED flow and
sample output data developed using the Get AAS
xray node are shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Data retrieval using the generated API in Node-
3.4 Work Performed using IDS
In this study, International Dataspace Connector
(IDS) has been installed on two different hosts. One
of the connectors has been configured as a provider,
and the other has been configured as a consumer. The
provider aims to send the "temperature" sensor data
retrieved from the previously created AAS dynamic
data as the data to be installed and sent to the
computer with the IP address 192.168.a.xx. The
consumer, on the other hand, has been installed on the
test server with an IP address of 192.168.a.yy. The
consumer requests data from the provider.
As a result of the studies conducted with IDS
connectors, data transfer between different servers
has been achieved. The provider connector has been
used as a data provider for the consumer connector.
The provider connector reads data that are received
from the AAS server.
The architecture that was used to send the AAS
data to the IDS consumer connector using an IDS
provider connector is presented in Figure 4.
Figure 4: The architecture using IDS connectors.
In this case study, we have designed and implemented
different technical solutions using emerging digital
twin technologies/tools to generate AAS and IDS in a
real manufacturing environment. The Admin Shell
IO, Eclipse BaSyx, and IDS connectors have been
developed and used together with Apache
StreamPipes and Node-RED. The developments have
been verified and validated by testers.
Digital twins are beneficial solutions for non-
destructive testing systems. Being one of them, X-
Ray testing systems has potential dangers, hence, it is
suggested to use digital twins for these systems. To
the best of our knowledge, this study is the first study
conducting such a case study on non-destructive
testing machinery using X-Ray technology in steel
pipe manufacturing.
We conclude that with the current maturity level
of the tools, it is easy to implement AAS and IDS for
digital twin interoperability and to enable secure data
exchanges between different organizations. In our
comparison of the tools based on the ease-of-use
attribute, we found that the Admin Shell IO is easier
to use than the Eclipse BaSyx, because it has UI for
AAS management and it generates JSON.
In the future, we will continue our studies on the
generation of AAS using Fraunhofer Advanced Asset
Administration Tools (FA
ST). Up on successful
completion of an AAS using FA
ST, we aim to
compare and contrast different technologies/tools,
ETCIIM 2022 - International Workshop on Emerging Trends and Case-Studies in Industry 4.0 and Intelligent Manufacturing
designs, and our experiences and lessons learned as
part of our AAS and IDS development studies.
This research was partly funded by the H2020
COGNITWIN project and by the ITEA
MACHINAIDE project. The COGNITWIN project
has received funding from the European Union’s
Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme
under Grant Agreement No. 870130, and The
MACHINAIDE project has received funding under
the ITEA 3 Programme with project No. 18030.
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ETCIIM 2022 - International Workshop on Emerging Trends and Case-Studies in Industry 4.0 and Intelligent Manufacturing