Integrating Industry 4.0 tools and methods for zero-defect manufacturing (ZDM) into existing manufacturing environments presents significant challenges, not only in terms of data management and analysis for machinery and legacy systems, but also in the areas of integration and interoperability. Interoperability, defined as “the ability of two or more systems/components to exchange and use information,” extends the industrial ecosystem beyond the boundaries of a single factory. It involves various actors within the value chain in a collaborative process that aims to achieve efficiency and advanced digital quality through secure data sharing.

While Industry 4.0 encourages companies to adopt connected industrial equipment, either by acquiring new machines or upgrading existing ones, the potential of interconnection is currently underutilized. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology exists, but mature business models and tools that enable the trusted exchange of data among multiple companies are still in the development stage.

Photo by Simon Kadula on Unsplash

IDS and the DAT4.ZERO Project.

The European DAT4.ZERO project, of which Holonix is part of the consortium, addresses the challenge of enabling and combining interoperability, security and data sharing through the adoption of the International Data Space (IDS) paradigm. This approach offers many benefits, such as reducing waste and increasing production rates through the integration of advanced sensors and the use of artificial intelligence. This allows the end user in the project to offer high quality products at a lower cost and with reduced development time for new products. In addition, the introduction of augmented reality viewers promises not only improved product quality but also better working conditions for operators.

Holonix played a crucial role in the development and deployment of an IDS wrapper for the REST interface of the Data Management System (DMS) software. This includes demonstrating the functionality of an IDS connector and related open-source components, which enable additional production scenarios for the end user.

Involvement of UCIMU

Holonix’s involvement with UCIMU, the Association of Italian Machine Tool Manufacturers, and its position within the working group on predictive maintenance facilitated the creation of the UCIMU Data Space committee. This committee focuses on specific use cases in which the IDS work of the DAT4.ZERO project can be adapted and exploited.

In the manufacturing and machine tool sectors, data sharing is complex due to the presence of different machines from various manufacturers, numerous components, and a wide range of elements that need monitoring.

Incremental activities, fully funded by industry on a voluntary basis, are leading to the implementation and training of a predictive maintenance system. This system requires data from the machine during its operating cycle, intelligent sensor components, and auxiliary equipment. The secure and controlled exchange of information between the machine user, machine supplier, and component suppliers is critical. The Data Space paradigm supports the management of both technical and legal-contractual aspects to enforce this requirement.

Future Steps

The IDS technical solution was implemented on cloud and executed in a demonstration version. Regarding data structures, the OPC-UA UMATI taxonomy was used as a reference, avoiding the implementation of new vocabularies. The diagnostics are based on existing systems currently used by machine manufacturers who have joined the UCIMU working group. The last step, involving data aggregation and analysis, is currently underway. The goal is to present all results in a specific dissemination event at the upcoming 34.BI-MU 2024, the biennial international exhibition dedicated to the manufacturing industry of metal cutting and forming machine tools, robots, automation systems, digital and additive manufacturing.

If you are interested in learning more about how IDS interoperability can improve the digital quality and efficiency of your production, read the full article.