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Virtual Demo digital twin - Nerve / Azure Digital Twins

TTTech Industrial presents a digital twin application example for industrial use cases together with Microsoft. This application example was created as part of a practical test of the Platform Industry 4.0 and uses TTTech Industrial’s edge computing platform Nerve and the Microsoft Azure Digital Twins service.

The objective of the Platform Industry 4.0 is to connect all parties involved in business processes in the manufacturing and process industries and create added value from the exchange of information based on industry-neutral standards for communication, services, and semantics.

An Asset Administration Shell is the digital twin of an object over its entire life cycle. It is standardized and versatile, but it is not easy to handle due to the high abstraction. In order to take a decisive step forward in digital twin use cases, TTTech Industrial and Microsoft have examined the possibility of implementing digital twins based on the Asset Administration Shell in an exemplary way. TTTech Industrial and Microsoft will present an implementation of the Asset Administration Shell using the open description language Digital Twin Definition Language (DTDL) based on Azure Digital Twins as part of a virtual Nerve Robot Demo.

The digital twins are based on data from Nerve’s virtualized CODESYS© Soft PLC. One advantage of the TTTech Industrial solution is that the soft PLC can be managed like any other workload. IT and OT will be merged so that OT can also take advantage of the great advances in security, management, resilience, and productivity achieved in IT. There is no restriction on workloads: Linux/Windows VMs, Docker Containers, Azure IoT Edge Containers or soft PLC – here from CODESYS© – are all supported.

"TTTech Industrial relies on open standards and platforms to enable maximum interoperability. Nerve is a radically open, modular edge computing platform, with which customers can put together the best solution for their use case. Apart from the Nerve modules, third-party applications and legacy software can also be integrated into Nerve. Nerve provides secure access to the machine data that forms the basis for a digital twin," says Georg Kroiss, Manager Strategic Accounts & Ecosystems, TTTech Industrial.

Based on DTDL and Nerve, implementation was possible in just a few days with a small project team. The aim is to demonstrate the efficiency and also the possibilities offered by digital twins and to encourage discussion. The tools and Industry 4.0 documentation used can be accessed by anyone.

The Microsoft Azure Digital Twins service is particularly performant in terms of the “operational data” of the asset’s sub-models. Incoming sensor values can be updated in near real-time with very high resolution and trigger further events. This is especially important if sensor values are to trigger an action in a specific context, for example if the prediction of several AI models must be put into context. One example would be the production of a workpiece in terms of the quality of the previously manufactured workpiece, the wear of the machine, and tolerance values in the rest of the supply chain. State machines of the PLC and the technical data of the items from other parts of the sub-models of the Asset Administration Shell can also be used in the process.

Watch the recording of the virtual demo: 

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