Technical infrastructure for digital twins

The digital modelling of machines, plants and components can be realised with a digital twin. This represents a virtual image of an asset over its entire life cycle: from development and production through to the operating and service phase. The “Technical Infrastructure for Digital Twins” (TeDZ) project took on this pioneering technology and developed findings on specific use cases such as predictive maintenance or virtual commissioning. You can find out more about these use cases further down on this page.

The development and demonstration of a technical reference infrastructure for digital twins was based on the project partners' use cases. The infrastructure is compatible with the administration shell of the Industrie 4.0 platform and the Industrial Digital Twin Association (IDTA) founded in 2021. The interoperable and end-to-end infrastructure enables access to the life cycle data of a product or machine. However, it also grants access to the capabilities of the underlying asset. The infrastructure for the digital twin was demonstrated in the “AssetLife” and “Digital Energy Twin” pilot projects.

  • High savings potential for mechanical engineering
  • Predictive maintenance and virtual commissioning
  • 2.6 million euro project volume
  • Seven project partners
  • Project duration: 01 December 2018 to 30 May 2021

Use case: virtual commissioning

The aim of this use case was to detect and rectify errors in the automation system using simulations and to develop and validate the system's control code. For this purpose, real control systems are connected to simulation systems on which simulation models of the machine or system are executed. These simulate the behaviour of the planned machine or system. Detailed simulation models are particularly important when it comes to the correct mapping of energy flows. With this in mind, methods were developed to create simulation models of KEB frequency inverters based on the original firmware and to integrate them into various simulation tools.

Use case: Predictive maintenance

The predictive maintenance use case focusses on increasing system availability. The digital twin is used to continuously collect and analyse status data. As part of the TeDZ project, a concept was developed to identify critical subcomponents and their causes of failure. Sensor and status variables of the KEB devices, which could serve as indicators for deviations or input variables for service life models, were determined. A newly defined communication infrastructure made it possible to transport data from KEB components to a cloud-based platform. In this platform, they are monitored using service life models or algorithms that detect irregularities.

DeZ pilot project

The extent to which digital twins can help to optimise the energy-related behaviour of components and machines was the focus of the TeDZ sub-project "Digital Energy Twin" (DeZ), in which KEB Automation participated. Part of the DeZ pilot project included the creation of models that can be used in as many "tools" as possible. In addition, the project set itself the task of providing models with a scalable simulation depth. This simulation depth is important, as conventional material flow simulations often only represent the drive behaviour in a simplified way.

“Smart Warehouse” technology demonstrator

A technology demonstrator was designed and built to demonstrate the findings from the research project. The system, named “Smart Warehouse”, is a small high-bay warehouse that was used to validate the use cases from the project. For example, real-time data from the components for the predictive maintenance use case was sent to a cloud and a 3D model of the system, including the energy flows, was visualised on an adjacent screen. The demonstrator is still in the SmartFactoryOWL today and is used for other research purposes – e.g. in the field of IIoT.

Your contact at KEB Automation
Keb product manager wenneker tobias drives

Tobias Wenneker

Product Manager Drives

+49 5263 401-453
+49 160 90989535

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