Towards Enabling Cyber-Physical Systems in Brownfield Environments
Leveraging Environmental Information to Derive Virtual Representations of Unconnected Assets
The digital transformation based on internet technologies comprises huge potentials but also challenges for the production industry. Even though some design characteristics are generally accepted for the digitized integration of machines, applications and surrounding components the inherent complexity and variety of interaction protocols, data formats and interdependencies of existing deployments in so called brownfield environments hampers the data-driven manufacturing of the future. We propose an iterative approach where existing context data is used to encapsulate the specific complexity of each resource in order to create a flexible integration layer. Nearly all relevant resources are modeled as self-descriptive cyber-physical systems or Virtual Representations according to the setting of the physical production environment, therefore drastically reducing the required access barriers. We present a reference implementation and discuss its business implications by the example of industrial maintenance.