Industry 4.0

A digital twin for all pumps

Industry 4.0 connects production and entire industries. But that requires the unimpeded flow of information – even when pumps are involved. They represent a key function as production becomes increasingly smart and connected. Smart pumps can improve productivity, increase energy efficiency, streamline maintenance, and raise availability.

What is the administration shell?

To ensure consistent communications across components and locations, VDMA-Fachverband Pumpen und Systeme (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association Pumps + Systems) has developed an “administration shell”. What does this antiquated-sounding term mean? It can best be explained as a sort of digital twin: The administration shell is the digital representative of the pump.
It thus plays a critical role in the shift to digitalized production. Development used to focus on technical product and process innovation; however, in the future, it will increasingly revolve around helping users optimize their processes. This dramatic shift in business models is no longer a vision of the future. Today’s distributors of pumps could soon be tomorrow’s providers of “Pump Output as a Service”. These services could present pump users with new opportunities for optimizing their business.

Guideline provides support for the application

To make all of this happen, some existing information models will have to be merged into the administration shell. One viable model is the “General Device Profile for Pumps” (VDMA standard sheet 24223), which was created in 2008 to standardize basic functions and information for vacuum and liquid pumps in operation.
In the beginning of July, Platform Industry 4.0 published a guideline (PDF) that explains the structure of the administration shell and explains exactly why component interoperability is important for digitalized production. The publication contains practical application examples and information on key players as well as programs for implementing Industry 4.0 projects in your own organization.