Integration of a Cloud Engineering into an Educational Robotic Cell and its Digital Shadow

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  • Presentation type: Oral Presentation and Poster (LACSC)
  • Track: LACSC
  • Keywords: Digital Shadow; Digital Twin; OPC-UA; Stochastic Simulation;
  • 1 Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Integration of a Cloud Engineering into an Educational Robotic Cell and its Digital Shadow

Thomas M. Rudolf

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México


During the pandemic caused by COVID-19, universities faced the problem of teaching laboratories without using the university installations. The digitalization of production systems, however, has grown during the last decades and offers a great solution to closed laboratories. Digital Shadows have become an important tool to improve and to optimize production lines. Combining different simulation tools, process times are analyzed to find the best possible production sequences. On this paper, it is analyzed the functionality of a Digital Shadow by manufacturing a chess tower. The used Digital Shadow includes two CNC machine tools, a 6 degree of freedom industrial robot and conveyors. Different milling and turning processes are simulated and their respective process times are compared. During the dead times of the turning machines it is beneficial to integrate an additional chess figure – a pawn – so the machine won´t be stopped for a long time during the milling process. Up to this point, there is only a one-directional data exchange from the Digital Shadow to the physical production system. It is, however, required that the physical robotic cell provides real time data to the cyber system to convert the Digital Shadow into a Digital Twin. As a next step, the concept of cloud based engineering is introduced including a possible architecture to convert the one-directional communication into a bi-directional one and therefore obtain a first version of a Digital Twin. To achieve this, AutomationML and OPC-UA are introduced as meta models of all included components and communication protocol, respectively. Characteristics and available data are represented using AutomationML, a meta language similar to XML. In this format, all necessary information about the CNC machine tools, the robot and the conveyors are available, including characteristics like maximal spindle speed and spindle power and available tools, integrated sensors and machine state information such as cooling and lubricant state or process times. The information available is transferred via OPC-UA to the cloud system. The presented paper will explain the obtained results by the Digital Shadow in detail and the first conceptual results of how to convert the Digital Shadow into a Digital Twin.

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