- Pickert & Partner GmbH and the IOTA Foundation have developed a solution that uses the Tangle technology in the intelligent manufacturing industry for zero-defect production using digital twins.
- The solution developed enables the data from production and life cycle to be stored unalterably on the IOTA Tangle to create an unchangeable digital twin.
As was announced yesterday, the German software company Pickert & Partner GmbH is working together with the IOTA Foundation to create zero-defect production in the intelligent manufacturing industry using digital twins and the IOTA Tangle. Pickert, which specializes in the creation of digital twins and has 380 customers with more than 215,000 users worldwide, wants to use the integration of the IOTA Tangle to expand its processes in order to prevent subsequent changes to data while creating trust and decentralization.
The aim of the solution is to ensure the traceability of data during the manufacturing process of a product, not only during production, but also beyond. The ultimate goal is to ensure that one day only flawless products are produced, i.e. that there are no more overheating cell phone batteries or defective washing machines. If this is achieved, this is known as zero-defect production.
The technical solution from Pickert and IOTA in detail
In the designed solution, all relevant data is not only used for monitoring, but is also individually assigned to each product and its unique serial number and stored on the Tangle for traceability reasons. This creates a digital twin for each individual product and makes it possible to search, identify and analyse errors more easily afterwards.
Knowledge of the cause of the error also makes it easier to avoid the error in the future. Since the digital twin is stored on the IOTA Tangle, it cannot be changed, which means that it can also be used as evidence. This is particularly interesting when it comes to whether regulations have been observed or also in the case of a complaint or a recall, where the cause of the error has to be determined.
In concrete terms, the technology designed by Pickert and the IOTA Foundation works in such a way that data is generated and collected during production. When a process step is completed, ZERO defects from Pickert sends the data to the Tangle via the IOTA Connector. Pickert is describing the process as follows:
Usually we collect the data using OPC UA which is a common standard in industry. We have to make sure that all involved systems are integrated, in some cases a retrofitting of old machines and IoT devices is necessary. As soon as we have the data, we send it to ActiveMQ and use it in ZERO defects to visualize the live data and to react on anomalies.
After completion of a production step, ZERO defects sends the aggregated data in JSON format to the ActiveMQ IOTA Topic. The IotaConnector Microservice is listening to the ActiveMQ IOTA Topic and as soon as data is incoming, the IOTA Connector prepares and sends the received data as IOTA Transaction to the Tangle.
As Pickert & Partner GmbH further states in their blog post, this technology also enables new concepts. For example, the built-in IOTA Connector could continue to send data to the digital twin during the product’s lifespan. This could be of great advantage, for example, in the context of a recall campaign, when it is important to know where a product is and where the source of error is.
Comments from the two partners
Sven O. Rimmelspacher, managing partner at Pickert explained the new technical approach and the integration of the IOTA Tangle into the existing software solution of his company:
When you store all the data described above in the IOTA Tangle, you get a full traceability of each product and its components which we call the Digital Twin. Every product can be identified using its serial number and all the data is safe and unchangeably stored and accessible. IOTA’s public infrastructure does not require any fees or even the use of cryptocurrency to store data decentralized. It thus provides the optimal setting for digital twins and other assets to be safe against manipulation and even share them with partners along the production chain.
Holger Köther, Director for Partner Management at the IOTA Foundation added:
Pickert impressively demonstrates the benefits of utilizing IOTA for digital twins in manufacturing. Not only is the data stored immutably, it can also easily be enriched by manufacturing partners as part of a larger and more complex digital twin. IOTA’s digital infrastructure provides the trust to document authenticity and provenance and add transparency across different industries.