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RAMI 4.0 (Part 3): Smart Electronic Industry 4.0 Hierarchy Level

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RAMI 4.0 (Part 3): Smart Electronic Industry 4.0 Hierarchy Level

As we continue to explore the RAMI 4.0 for smart factories, let's take a look at how the hierarchy of your layers is constructed.

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In our last discussion, we went over how the process of a product lifecycle works. RAMI 4.0 is a unified model that depicts divergence of domain, elements, processes, and their relationships. Interactions of entities execute their tasks in a grouping grid. Now we move to the third axis of RAMI 4.0, hierarchy levels. It is defined in IEC 62264 by manufacturers that the product at the base level and the connected world go beyond the boundaries of the smart factory at the top level. Hence, the RAMI model is classified into the following three categories:

  1. A subsequent layer that behaves like an external service to its associated environment that is referred to as horizontal integration (across the factories).

  2. A section that is based on product lifecycle and maintenance services or their usage, labeled as end-to-end engineering (production processes).

  3. Monitoring of physical process for manufacturing components, machines, motors, and actuators, acting as an internal service of the smart factory. This is also described as vertical integration (within the factory).

The smart factory enables all information about the manufacturing process. In this article, automated production needs to assemble components, materials, items, machines, robotic processes, and related operations to control these environments. From production to product development, smart industries are interlinked in the form of a chain.

Hierarchy levels simply describe the breakdown structure of assembled components. Devices, machines, and motors are being controlled by operators and workers. System-specific applications facilitate the automation process. They reduce manpower and execute tasks 24/7 without any rest. Automation process not only increases the business productivity, but it helps in tracing the issues easily.

Categorization of the hierarchy levels are:

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  • Product: We are exploring smart factory of electronics products, e.g., smartphone, laptop, TV.
  • Field device: Basically, these are electronic devices used for detecting and identifying components and sensor technology. A field device captures, navigates, and controls the flow of data, e.g., data sensors, data analysis, and alarm data.
  • Control device: The brain of manufacturing. Usually in the form of machines/sensors used to manage input/output commands, e.g., programmable logic controller, distributed control system, GUI.
  • Station: Operators perform administrative activities to examine the operation of events and processes (SCADA). For instance, coordination of various smartphone assembly process (mobile components) and monitoring all results (communication, devices interaction, power generation) on real-time based information interpretations.
  • Work Center: Keeps manufacturing information, defines the production state, and oversees the renovation of raw materials to refined goods. It helps decision makers improve the quality of production. Basically, MES is used for reporting purposes, e.g., assemble parts of smartphones efficiently and improve feature quality (advance components).
  • Enterprise: Usually defined in terms of ERP called business management software. These are core business processes, e.g., production planning, service delivery, marketing and sales, financial modules, retail, and other expenses. In this article, it encompasses order information, delivery status, management reports, item descriptions, and product statistics of smartphones, laptops, and TVs.
  • Connected World: Generally, this is the top category of all levels and is mainly interlinked with stakeholders, suppliers, customers, and service providers. It shares information of product sales, marketing strategy, business stats, e.g., offers, promotions and advertisements of products.

Contrary to above, the 3D model structure of RAMI 4.0 is described in the form of a table. Step by step, all layers are expressed as part of the production life cycle, maintenance, and development in a hierarchical order. The tables below are symbolized with the top row (red) in architecture layers, whereas the bottom row (yellow and green) shows the life cycle and processes among different stages. Then, on the right side (blue) column, there are articulated hierarchy levels.

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The discussion on RAMI 4.0 can be generally understood; therefore, the interaction between all three aspects, horizontal, vertical and life cycle process, were distinctly categorized, as illustrated in the above figures. The concept described in this post currently addresses a flexible framework of Industry 4.0 in a way to define a structure of a RAMI 3D model. In short, we mapped architecture layers, defining a crossed relationship of hierarchy level and product life cycle with their processes. Moreover, we have seen how industry components fit into RAMI model to become a smart factory. 

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industry 4.0 ,reference architecture ,smart factory ,iot

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