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RAMI 4.0 and the Administration Shell – What is it?

RAMI 4.0 brings together all elements and IT-relevant components in a single model.
RAMI 4.0 brings together all elements and IT-relevant components in a single model.
© Plattform Industrie 4.0
RAMI 4.0 is the "Reference architecture model Industrie 4.0" which has been developed by Plattform Industrie 4.0. In figurative terms, RAMI 4.0 is a three-dimensional map which breaks down the complex processes involved in Industrie 4.0 – providing them as manageable packages for all participants (including data protection and IT security).

Assets connected via the Administration Shell
Assets connected via the Administration Shell
© Anna Salari, designed by freepik, Modell Verwaltungsschale ©ZVEI SG Modelle und Standards
The model works if all Industrie 4.0 participants can understand one another and can communicate with each other – in a unified way across the globe. This is precisely where the concept of the Administration Shell comes into play: The Administration Shell is the interface between the physical object and Industrie 4.0 communication. According to the concept of the Administration Shell, each relevant object is provided with its own Administration Shell – its own digital image, allowing it to be integrated into Industrie 4.0.

The Administration Shell is made up of so-called partial models, in which information that belongs together is collected, such as “documentation”, “ordering” or “drilling”. In the “drilling” partial model, an Administration Shell would for instance describe a drill in the virtual world, providing it with a unique ID, and describing its features and qualities. It would contain information, for example about how heavy the machine is and what it is capable of. The Administration Shell makes it possible to access all information on an object, making it the standardised communication interface within the network. More information on the concept of the Administration Shell can be found here.

Another important aspect which enables the concept of the Administration Shell to function: a unique Industrie 4.0 language. This is necessary for exchanges to take place between Administrative Shells/their objects on their content and resulting interactions. The Interaction Model provided by Working Group AG1 describes how this can be achieved via specific interaction patterns. More information can be found here.