Maintaining the digital twin throughout the company’s value chain

April 2017

Connecting the digital twin with the physical object


Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemautomation mbH (“Hilscher”) announces the release of the netIOT SAP Connector to enable direct connectivity to the SAP Asset Intelligence Network at Hannover Messe 2017. SAP and Hilscher executed a co-development on implementing a bi-directional integration of the sensor / actuator level via the netIOT Edge® Gateway from Hilscher to the SAP Asset Intelligence Network (AIN) and the SAP Cloud Platform. This will provide the capability of maintaining the digital twin of a product asset from development through installation, operation and service. Hilscher will offer the SAP Connector software product based on the proven netX technology and the netIOT edge gateway “On-premise”. This SAP connector will be supported by the functionalities of the SAP Asset Intelligen-
ce Network.

A first live demonstration of these new features for discrete manufacturing can be seen at the SAP booth in Hall 7, B04. The product launch of the corresponding products is targeted for Q2 2017.
These new functionalities provide added value to many companies:

  • The integration into the Asset Intelligence Network offers device manufacturers the opportunity to access their own devices regardless of the PLC and the production network.
  • Optimization of the production technology by integrated and preventive installation and maintenance procedures can be done.
  • Device manufacturers can monitor and improve the usage of their products in the field.

New business models such as pay-per-use and function-based billing are now within reach.

The essential benefit is the topology scan of the netIOT Edge Gateway, which is powered by netX fieldbus technology and Intel x86 architecture to drive the SAP Connector application. This topology scan allows the live update between planned and as-installed structure of plant assets.

In addition, access down to the field level from the SAP Asset Intelligence Network is possible, allowing integration into the business processes during installation, maintenance and service of the production system. The integrated solution from the sensor to the cloud allows the implementation of the  reference architectures defined by the platform industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet Consortium. The representation of the digital twin will be future based on ongoing work executed within the LNI4.0 testbed “Implementation of RAMI4.0 Administration Shell”.