Digitization is one of the biggest innovation drivers of our time and is responsible for a considerable part of economic growth in Germany. For innovative, digital business models in industry that also pursue environmental sustainability, data from a wide variety of sources and in a wide variety of quality is needed in order to profitably apply data-based business logic. Providing and preparing the data poses enormous challenges for many companies. However, with a suitable, uniform data model and data exchange format, considerable economic and ecological potential can be leveraged.
The development of such a uniform data model and data exchange format in the form of an integral digital twin technology for optimizing the ecological sustainability of production is the goal of the “DiNaPro” research project. The requirements for the unified data model and data format are derived based on digital use cases from the different life cycle phases and company levels. The application of the integral digital twin should thus be as versatile as possible and guarantee universal applicability. To this end, the data model is enriched with data from product planning and design through production and use to recycling, which is available to users in the form of assistance systems for product design, construction, value stream design, quality monitoring, CO2 monitoring as well as operational optimization and process control, among other things. A particular focus of the assistance systems is on the second major innovation driver of our time – increasing ecological and social sustainability.
In order to achieve the goal of a uniform and easily scalable digital twin technology for optimizing the ecological and economic sustainability of production, the project follows a concept consisting of four phases. The first phase begins with a requirements analysis at the application partners with regard to the assistance systems to be used. Here, among other things, the technical prerequisites for the acquisition of data for the parameterization of the integral digital twin are to be created. In addition, use case-specific requirements for the data model of the integral twin are to be formulated. These requirements form the basis for the theoretical modeling of the data model in the second phase of the project. Here, the task is to develop the integral digital twin and revise it over the entire duration of the project. Finally, the data model will be used in the third project phase in the learning factories of the TU Darmstadt and by the industrial application partners. In this phase, the assistance systems will also be further developed and put into use. In the process, not only will the assistance systems be driven toward industrial usability, but relevant functional gaps of the integral digital twin will also be uncovered. In the fourth phase, these gaps will be closed by adapting the data model.