RAMI 4.0

Reference Architectural Model for Industrie 4.0

Three-dimensional map showing how to approach Industry 4.0 in a structured manner Auto IT Mar/Apr Main img

By Bill Lydon

The RAMI 4.0, Reference Architecture Model Industrie 4.0 (Industry 4.0), was developed by the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) to support Industry 4.0 initiatives, which are gaining broad acceptance throughout the world. Industry 4.0 (also termed Industrie 4.0) is a holistic view of manufacturing enterprises, started in Germany, with many worldwide cooperative efforts including China, Japan, and India. Industry 4.0 concepts, structure, and methods are being adopted worldwide to modernize manufacturing.

Effective manufacturing

Throughout the world, there is a recognition that to be competitive, manufacturing needs to modernize. The Industry 4.0 movement in particular continues to accelerate defining the pattern of how all industrial automation can achieve the goal of holistic and adaptive automation system architectures. A driving force behind the development of Industry 4.0 is the realization that pursuing low labor rates is not a winning strategy. Remaining competitive and flexible can only be accomplished by leveraging advanced technologies, centering on automation to enable a successful transition. Germany's Industrie 4.0 initiative has ignited cooperative efforts in China, Japan, and India.

Industry 4.0 is interdisciplinary, where the standards applicable in mechanical engineering, electronics, electrical engineering, and communications and information technology need to be combined with the respective technologies needed for their implementation.

Discrete and process industries

The development of RAMI 4.0 focused on industrial production as the primary area of application, including discrete manufacturing to process industries. Industry 4.0 concepts are being applied to process industries to achieve a holistic integration of automation, business information, and manufacturing execution function to improve all aspects of production and commerce across process industry value chains for greater efficiency. The "Process Sensor 4.0 Roadmap" initiated by NAMUR and VDI/VDE, in collaboration with several prominent leaders in the industry (including ABB, BASF, Bayer Technology Services, Bilfinger Maintenance, Endress+Hauser, Evonik, Festo, Krohne, Lanxess, Siemens, and Fraunhofer ICT), reflects the intent of creating fundamental building blocks to advance process automation system architectures. A number of NAMUR working groups are part of Working Area 2 (WA 2), Automation Systems for Processes and Plants.

Related to this activity, the OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group have an initiative to create a protocol-independent, process automation device information model (PA-DIM) specification based on the industrial interoperability standard OPC UA. PROFIBUS/PROFINET International is now participating in this vision, which is supported by NAMUR as part of its Open Architecture (NOA) initiative. The goal is enabling end users to dramatically reduce time to implement advanced analytics, big data projects, and enterprise cloud solutions that rely on information from thousands of geographically dispersed field devices using multiple process automation protocols.



Auto IT Mar/Apr Fig 1
RAMI 4.0 is a three-dimensional map showing the most important aspects of Industrie 4.0.
It ensures that all participants involved share a common perspective and develop
a common understanding,” explains Kai Garrels, chair of the working group
Reference Architectures, Standards and Norms at the Plattform Industrie 4.0,
and head of standardization and industry relations at ABB (www.plattform-i40.de).



RAMI 4.0 definition

The RAMI 4.0 Reference Architectural Model and the Industry 4.0 components give companies a framework for developing future products and business models. RAMI 4.0 is a three-dimensional map showing how to approach the deployment of Industry 4.0 in a structured manner. A major goal of RAMI 4.0 is to make sure that all participants involved in Industry 4.0 discussions and activities have a common framework to understand each other. The RAMI 4.0 framework is intended to enable standards to be identified to determine whether there is any need for additions and amendments. This model is complemented by the Industry 4.0 components. Both results are described in DIN SPEC 91345 (Reference Architecture Model Industrie 4.0). DIN (www.din.de) represents German interests within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Today, roughly 85 percent of all national standard projects are European or international in origin.

Putting the RAMI 4.0 model in perspective, in the glossary of the VDI/VDE-GMA 7.21 Industrie 4.0 technical committee, a reference model is defined as a model that can be generally applied and can be used to derive specific models. There are many examples of this in the field of technology. The most well known is the seven-layer ISO/OSI model, which is used as a reference model for network protocols. The advantage of using such models is a shared understanding of the function of every layer/element and the defined interfaces between the layers.

Important characteristics

RAMI 4.0 defines a service-oriented architecture (SOA) where application components provide services to the other components through a communication protocol over a network. The basic principles of SOA are independent of vendors, products, and technologies. The goal is to break down complex processes into easy-to-grasp packages, including data privacy and information technology (IT) security.

ZVEI characterizes the changing manufacturing systems. The current "Old World Industry 3.0" manufacturing system characteristics are:

  • hardware-based structure
  • functions bound to hardware
  • hierarchy-based communication
  • isolated product

The "New World: Industry 4.0" manufacturing system characteristics are:

  • flexible systems and machines
  • functions distributed throughout the network
  • participants interact across hierarchy levels
  • communication among all participants
  • product part of the network
  • RAMI 4.0 structure

RAMI 4.0 consists of a three-dimensional coordinate system that describes all crucial aspects of Industry 4.0. In this way, complex interrelations are broken down into smaller and simpler clusters.

"Hierarchy Levels" axis

On the right horizontal axis are hierarchy levels from IEC 62264, the international standards series for enterprise IT and control systems. These hierarchy levels represent the different functionalities within factories or facilities. (Note that the IEC 62243 standard is based upon ANSI/ISA-95.) To represent the Industry 4.0 environment, these functionalities have been expanded to include work pieces, labeled "Product," and the connection to the Internet of Things and services, labeled "Connected World."

"Life Cycle Value Stream" axis

The left horizontal axis represents the life cycle of facilities and products, based on IEC 62890, Life-cycle management for systems and products, used in industrial-process measurement, control, and automation. Furthermore, a distinction is made between "types" and "instances." A "type" becomes an "instance" when design and prototyping have been completed and the actual product is being manufactured. The model also combines all elements and IT components in the layer and life-cycle model.

"Layers" axis

The six layers on the vertical axis describe the decomposition of a machine into its properties, structured layer by layer, i.e., the virtual mapping of a machine. Such representations originate from information and communication technology, where properties of complex systems are commonly broken down into layers.

Within these three axes, all crucial aspects of Industry 4.0 can be mapped, allowing objects such as machines to be classified according to the model. Highly flexible Industry 4.0 concepts can thus be described and implemented using RAMI 4.0. The model allows for step-by-step migration from the present into the world of Industry 4.0.

Benefits of RAMI 4.0

The model integrates different user perspectives and provides a common way of seeing Industry 4.0 technologies. With RAMI 4.0, requirements of sectors-from manufacturing automation and mechanical engineering to process engineering-can be addressed in industry associations and standardization committees. Thus, RAMI 4.0 brings a common understanding for standards and use cases.

RAMI 4.0 can be regarded as a map of Industry 4.0 solutions. It is an orientation for plotting the requirements of sectors together with national and international standards to define and further develop Industry 4.0. There is a refreshing interest with Industry 4.0 initiatives for various organizations to work cooperatively and overcome the compartmentalization of the national standardization bodies.

The challenge

The influx of technology is starting to dramatically improve manufacturing. However, to do this effectively takes planning, and the RAMI 4.0 model is a focal point for understanding the entire manufacturing and supply chain.

 
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Fast Forward

  • RAMI 4.0 ensures that all participants involved in Industry 4.0 discussions and activities have a common framework and terminology.
  • RAMI 4.0 focused on industrial production as the primary area of application, including discrete manufacturing to process industries.
  • The Industry 4.0 movement continues to accelerate defining the pattern for all industrial automation to achieve the goal of holistic and adaptive automation system architectures.
 

About the Author

Bill Lydon is chief editor of InTech. Lydon has been active in manufacturing automation for more than 25 years. In addition to experience at various large companies, he co-founded and was president of a venture-capital-funded industrial automation software company.

ZVEI 

The German ZVEI (www.zvei.org) industrial association, founded in 1918, represents the interests of the high-tech sector with a wide portfolio. ZVEI is committed to the common interests of the electrical industry in Germany and internationally. This commitment is supported by about 160 employees in the main office and 5,000 employees from the member companies in an honorary capacity.

ZVEI is based in Frankfurt with offices in Berlin and Brussels. Through its EuropeElectro working group, ZVEI also has an office in Beijing. More than 1,600 companies, which employ about 90 percent of the staff of the electrical industry in Germany, have opted for membership in ZVEI. Its members include global, medium-sized, and family-owned companies. The sector has 868,000 employees in Germany, plus more than 736,000 employees all over the world.

The basis of the association’s work is the exchange of experience and views between the members about current technical, economic, legal, and socio-political topics in the electrical industry. From this exchange, common positions are drawn up, including proposals on research, technology, environmental protection, education, and science policy; ZVEI is a pacemaker of technological progress. It also supports market-related international standardization work.

The association works with national business associations and organizations, European industry and trade associations, and international organizations. It is divided into 22 trade associations that comprise all member companies, each operating in the same market segment. In addition, ZVEI maintains nine state offices in Germany that represent the interests of the electrical industry in the country. Since June 2014, Michael Ziesemer, vice chairman of the board of the Endress + Hauser Group, has been president of the ZVEI. Klaus Mittelbach has been the executive director of the ZVEI management since 2008.

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