Robust digital twin compositions for Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing systems
Industry 4.0 is an emerging business paradigm that is reaping the benefits of enabling technologies driving intelligent systems and environments. By acquiring, processing and acting upon various kinds of relevant context information, smart automated manufacturing systems can make well-informed decisions to adapt and optimize their production processes at runtime. To manage this complexity, the manufacturing world is proposing the 'Digital Twin' model to represent physical products in the real space and their virtual counterparts in the virtual space, with data connections to tie the virtual and real products together for an augmented view of the manufacturing workflow. The benefits of such representations are simplified process simulations and efficiency optimizations, predictions, early warnings, etc. However, the robustness and fidelity of digital twins are a critical concern, especially when independently developed production systems and corresponding digital twins interfere with one another in a manufacturing workflow and jeopardize the proper behavior of production systems. We therefore evaluate the addition of safeguards to digital twins for smart cyber-physical production systems (CPPS) in an Industry 4.0 manufacturing workflow in the form of feature toggles that are managed at runtime by software circuit breakers. Our evaluation shows how these improvements can increase the robustness of interacting digital twins by avoiding local errors from cascading through the distributed production or manufacturing workflow.
You can download a pre-print version of the manuscript here (PDF).