The physical and virtual worlds are increasingly converging. More and more physical objects can draw on smart sensor and actor technology, and are becoming networked in the evolutionary development of the Internet of Things. The availability of all relevant information in real time by networking of all the instances involved in adding value, and the ability to use those data to establish the optimum value stream at any particular time are triggering a further industrial revolution (known as Industrie 4.0) in business processes, and facilitating new business models. In that connection, the focus is on optimization of the following core industrial processes: research and development, production, logistics and service. With a view to securing the future of Germany as a business location and of its industry, the implementation strategy for Industrie 4.0 has been established by Plattform Industrie 4.0 in cooperation with the associations BITKOM, VDMA and ZVEI, and various German industrial enterprises. Chapter 6 of the implementation strategy for Industrie 4.0  was planned in advance in such a way that it could be extracted and published as a GMA Status Report. The result is this paper. This GMA Status Report presents a reference architecture model (RAMI4.0) for semantic technologies and their benefits for automation and its associated technologies. The structures and functions of what are termed Industrie 4.0 components (referred to below as I4.0 components) are also described. Where appropriate, parts of the reference architecture model and the I4.0 components draw upon existing and relevant standards, so as to gain acceptance more rapidly. Where necessary, the implementation strategy identifies and describes additional standardization requirements. As a result of the increasing networking and controllability of physical objects and the simultaneous rise in the threat level posed by hackers, secret services, espionage and so on, special security requirements are necessary. These are outlined in chapter 7 of the implementation strategy for Industrie 4.0. The Status Report is addressed to readers from German industry, the relevant technology-oriented sectors, research and government. In particular, it is intended for managers, experts and consultants, and all parties interested in the future of Industrie 4.0 in Germany or wish to assist in shaping it.
Date added: 01/04/2016Fourth Industrial Revolution Industry 4.0 Reference Models