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Increasingly flexible manufacturing processes are helping companies respond faster to changing market requirements and, most importantly, remain strong competitors. This is where 'digital twins' play a key role in networking and digitizing production processes. The Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE) creates such digital twins using BaSys 4.0 middleware. Heading up a project of the same name, Fraunhofer IESE is now working with a consortium of project partners from industry and research on open source middleware that implements administration shells and digital twins. The aim is to allow production plants to be networked across different layers and manufacturers – from IT on the shop floor through to systems used in the office.

The digital twins created with BaSys 4.0 are designed to provide an exact overview of ongoing production operations at any time, with quality data being collected from different sources, processed and provided to clients for further analysis. Optional service-based manufacturing, meanwhile, enables companies to adapt their production processes with ease. At HANNOVER MESSE 2019, Fraunhofer IESE is using a model factory to showcase a range of solutions run on BaSyx (an open access platform hosted by the Eclipse Foundation) that emphasize the related benefits and potential applications.