Operationalisierung von digitalen Schatten im Werkzeugbau

  • Operationalisation of digital shadows in the toolmaking industry

Graberg, Tim; Schuh, G√ľnther (Thesis advisor); Boos, Wolfgang (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Apprimus Verlag (2023)
Book, Dissertation / PhD Thesis

In: Ergebnisse aus der Produktionstechnik 2/2023
Page(s)/Article-Nr.: 1 Online-Ressource : Illustrationen, Diagramme

Dissertation, RWTH Aachen University, 2022


The German manufacturing industry contributes significantly to the country's gross value added. One of the main enablers of this economic performance is the toolmaking industry, which enables efficient series production with its high-quality and punctual tools. While it has been impossible for German toolmaking companies to achieve cost leadership in view of the international competition generated by globalisation for a long time already, the continuous further development of the toolmaking industries in low-wage countries is also making differentiation through the quality and lead time of the tools more and more challenging. For some years now, Industry 4.0 has offered German toolmaking companies new potential to meet these challenges and to secure their competitive position in the long term. Significant optimisation potentials for the target variables of a production system, time, costs, and quality, are predicted through the implementation of Industry 4.0 use cases. At the same time, such Industry 4.0 use cases are diverse and concretely known in practice. So far, however, no industry-wide improvement in the performance of German toolmaking companies can be identified that would correspond to the predicted potentials. Since both the use cases and their potentials are known, it can be postulated that the data basis required for the realisation of Industry 4.0 use cases is missing. Without a digital shadow that represents such a database, the realisation of the predicted potentials will not be possible. A methodology was thus developed that guides companies in the toolmaking industry in successfully operationalising a digital shadow that meets the requirements for known use cases. This methodology is divided into the superordinate phases of the creation of a use case-specific data model, the conceptual design of a multimodal data acquisition and the implementation of the multimodal data fusion. In the first phase, the information needs of the use case to be served by the digital shadow are systematically derived and weighted. This is followed in the second phase by the formulation of the data collection needs and the design of the data collection. Here, in particular, the potential of multimodal data acquisition is realised. In the final, third phase, the multimodally collected data is merged into a digital shadow by checking the data attributes for correctness and merging them and defining the required IT infrastructure. The validation of the developed methodology was carried out on the case study of the WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie GmbH as well as on the anonymised case study of an injection mould making company. The scientific contribution of the work consists in the development of a representative procedure for the generation of a requirement-oriented database for the implementation of Industry 4.0 use cases in the form of a digital shadow. Companies in the toolmaking industry are called upon to use this contribution to operationalise digital shadows, considering the individual company requirements and framework conditions.


  • Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University [417200]
  • Chair of Production Engineering [417210]