Talkers talk, we implement – Sustainability Factory
Bringing the OI4 Reference Architecture to life
The integration project at Dutch Duurzaamheidsfabriek (Sustainability Factory) received the Alliance's first OI4 Implementation Award for the collaborative achievements involving eleven members of the Alliance. In only three months they connected sensors and flowmeters to send payloads successfully from field to edge and from edge to the cloud.
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WHAT THEY DID
Integrating different hardware components from various manufacturers into multiple output and process layers such as clouds – that's what OI4 is all about. This real-world scenario was carried out at the Flow Centre of Excellence, which offers an exceptional, industry-oriented test facility.
Connectivity was ensured via the OI4 Alliance Reference Architecture. This enabled easy onboarding and connectivity for the integrated flow valves in a holistic model that will prove useful to all other members in the processing industry.
Insights from networked components and sensors also enabled new ways of measuring, diagnosing, controlling and predicting component efficiency, maintenance needs and integrity. This way, the development of new businesses and cooperations won’t stop at gated data.
BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE PROJECT
The Sustainability Factory is a joint facility of the city of Dordrecht near Rotterdam and the ROC da Vinci College. As a vocational training facility for industry, participants are looking for practical examples of how to implement open edge computing policies and what this will look like for OEMs and asset owners.
The aim of the demonstrator was to show how new data from operating technology can be obtained and transferred to the cloud for further use. To this end, this brownfield project focused on data from the field (4-20mA + HART, HART IP, IO-Link) coming from pressure transmitters, flow transmitters, control valves, motors and pumps.
A digital twin mapped internal variables and processed and reduced the complexity of distributed control systems (DCS) to enable new functionality. For example, the digital twin could be used to trigger alarms when there are problems with valve position, flow, temperature, airflow control, or sealing - which could damage or shorten the life of the control valve.
The project was completed within three months. The rapid integration of components, software layers, business logics and more was made possible via the implementation guidelines of the compliant components by the members of the OI4 Alliance. By using the OI4 Reference Architecture, data can be easily transferred from all devices to the cloud. It is possible that this will become a standard that is integrated into Open Operator clouds for further applications or tooling in addition to vendor clouds.
"Sustainability plays an important role for us, of course. A facility that is optimally adjusted and functioning consumes less material, which means it is more economical. By setting up digital twins, it also functions more reliably."
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