In order to teach his students the principles and possibilities of Industry 4.0, Jan van Deventer, Associate Professor of Industrial Electronics at the Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University of Luleå in the north of Sweden, set up a production plant with doctoral student Aparajita Tripathy as an application example.
A cycle line with two processing stations from fischertechnik formed the basis of the experimental setup. This plant was connected to a programmable logic controller (PLC with Modbus TCP client), which in turn was connected to a server (OPC-UA). The server established the connection to the digital 3D twin that depicted the fischertechnik plant. The scientists connected the programmable logic controller via Ethernet to a local cloud, which provided the interface to the Internet.
Prof. van Deventer demonstrated how the digital twin can be moved on the screen, allowing different perspectives on the plant. Individual components can be highlighted in color for a better understanding of the architecture. In addition, the twin enables monitoring of sensors that measure speed, temperature or pressure, for example. Ultimately, a digital twin allows real-time monitoring of production, enabling any necessary decisions and interventions to be made within the shortest possible time.
An additional monitor on the test setup demonstrated the possibility of remote monitoring and maintenance of the plant. The basis for this was the Arrowhead framework, a cross-system platform that enables the interaction of various local clouds and thus an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In this way, production, process monitoring and data storage can also be managed decentrally from different locations and countries.
University profileLuleå University of Technology, with more than 15,000 students and 1,600 staff, works closely with well-known industrial companies. One focus of research and teaching is on technologies that enable intelligent industrial processes.