Press Release

Building the foundations for an Industrie 4.0 ecosystem: Plattform Industrie 4.0 publishes a blueprint for the smart networking of assets

On 27 November 2018, Germany’s “Plattform Industrie 4.0” unveils its publication series on the Administration Shell at the trade fair SPS Drives. The Plattform’s experts will demonstrate how Administration Shells can help companies integrate their assets (e.g. hardware and software components) in production. In so doing, the Plattform is helping to complete the basis for digital ecosystems in which all assets interact interoperable.

Presentation of the Administration Shell
Presentation of the Administration Shell
© Plattform Industrie 4.0 / Reitz

“We’ve made an important step forward: companies and developers can now start setting up their own Administration Shells, creating a virtual representation of their assets. Our publications describe a tech-neutral UML model containing all the necessary information, including first exchange formats in XML and JSON as well as an access concept” says Dr. Michael Hoffmeister of Festo AG & Co and head of the sub-working group “Models and standards” (ZVEI) within the working group “Reference Architectures, Standards and Norms” of the Plattform Industrie 4.0.


This year’s SPS Drives offers you an insight into how to set up Administration Shells and how to transfer data between them. We invite you to join us on Tuesday, 27 November 2018, 12.30 p.m. to 1 p.m., at the ZVEI-Forum of SPS Drives in Hall 6-240.

The concept of the Administration Shell will be introduced by Dr. Birgit Boss, member of the Plattform’s working group “Reference Architectures, Standards and Standardisation” (Robert Bosch GmbH).

Further presentations by the Plattform’s standardization experts at SPS Drives:
„Einführung: TSN plus OPC UA – Standardisierung: Der Status Quo“ (in German): Heinrich Munz (Kuka AG), Mitglied der AG „Referenzarchitek-turen, Standards und Normung“. Tuesday, 27.11. | 10:30 - 11:00 | Automa-tion 4.0 Summit zur SPS IPC Drives | NürnbergMesse Messezentrum NCC Ost

Fachvortrag „Safety und Security“ (in German): Lutz Jänicke (Phoenix Contact Cyber Security AG), Leiter der Unterarbeitsgruppe „Sichere Kom-munikation für Industrie 4.0“ in der AG „Sicherheit vernetzter Systeme“. Tu-esday, 27.11. | 13.00 - 14:00 | ZVEI-Forum in Halle 6-240

Fachvortrag „Industrielle Cloud-Federation auf Basis von OPC UA“ (in German): Christoph Legat (Assystem Germany GmbH), Leiter der Unterar-beitsgruppe „Durchstich-Projekte“ in der AG „Referenzarchitekturen, Stan-dards und Normung“ der Plattform Industrie 4.0. Tuesday, 27.11. | 13.15 - 13:45 | Automation 4.0 Summit zur SPS IPC Drives | NürnbergMesse Mes-sezentrum NCC Ost

„Sensoren in der Industrie 4.0: Die Verwaltungsschale als maschinen-lesbare Datensammlung“ (in German): Benedikt Rauscher (Pepperl + Fuchs GmbH), Mitglied der AG „Referenzarchitekturen, Standards und Normung“ und Leiter des ad hoc Arbeitskreises „Industrie 4.0 in der Senso-rik“ des ZVEI. Wednesday, 28.11. | 13:00 - 14:00 | ZVEI-Forum in Hall 6-240


In addition, Plattform Industrie 4.0 can be found at the OPC Foundation’s booth (Hall 5-347) next to the Labs Network Industrie 4.0. The exhibit will show how the Administration Shell is implemented in practice.

Get information about accreditation (in German).

Publication series Administration Shell in Detail: version 1.0 is just the beginning

A complete description of the Administration Shell will be published in a multi-part publication series. The full title of the publication is: “Details of the Administration Shell – Part 1: the exchange of information between partners in the value chain of Industrie 4.0; Release V1.0”. It shows how information must be prepared and structured in the Administration Shell in order to pass on all the information contained as a package (file system) from one partner to the next.
In the next step, the Plattform Industrie 4.0 defines the APIs (application program-ming interfaces) of the Administration Shell. The accessible interfaces provide information about the current status of the object and can change these. This is followed by a description of how several Administration Shells interact in a network.

What is the Administration Shell and why is it so important for companies?


Industrie 4.0 works when all assets communicating with each other in a network are also integrated into the world of IT. This is exactly what the Administration Shell is for: data from hardware and software components the production of e.g. a machine are summarised, producing a virtual representation. This image is then saved in the Administration Shell. The Administration Shell thus contains a complete set of information about the asset, whether it be characteristics, properties, parameters, measurements or capabilities.


The Administration Shell therefore:

  • Provides a virtual representation in the world of Industrie 4.0
  • Offers a secure communication interface.
  • Constitutes an access point for information and added-value functions.


Further information can be found in the online library:

Working group “Reference Architectures, Standards and Norms”

This working group is comprised of 50 specialists from Plattform Industrie 4.0. These are responsible for the development of basic concepts for Industrie 4.0-standards. The group collaborates closely with its Plattform partners to contribute its ideas to international standardisation processes.

About the Plattform Industrie 4.0

The Plattform Industrie 4.0 is Germany’s central network for the promotion of the digital transformation in industrial production. Bringing together politics, the private sector, academia, trade unions and associations, more than 350 stakeholders from over 150 organisations actively contribute to the work of the Plattform. As one of the biggest international and national networks, the Plattform supports German compa-nies in the implementation of Industrie 4.0 strategies. In particular, it endeavours to disseminate awareness of existing 4.0 practice examples within companies and also in the world at large. With its concrete recommendations, the Plattform builds mo-mentum and indicates offers of support and testing fields. The Plattform’s numerous international collaborations underline its key role in international discussions on the topic of Industrie 4.0. Further information can be found on: www.plattform-i40.de