Asset Management

Standards-based interoperability for digital transformation in asset lifecycle management: More answers

Supply chain challenges, standards, digital twins, and advice for future digital transformation efforts were among more answers from a 1-hour RCEP/AIA professional development hour training session.

By Alan Johnston November 9, 2021
Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week, MIMOSA

 

Learning Objectives

  • The Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem (OIIE) is the first specification for a supplier/vendor neutral industrial digital ecosystem that enables standards-based interoperability for applications and systems across the full asset lifecycle.
  • A course covers OIIE specification basics.
  • More answers about related asset management topics are provided in this Q&A article.

More answers about asset lifecycle management followed a 1-hour training session covering how a lifecycle approach for digital and physical asset management adds efficiency to capital projects, handover and associated maintenance and reliability management activities and more. The CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week course name is “Standards-based interoperability for digital transformation in asset lifecycle management.” It is archived for 1 year after the Oct. 21 presentation and is eligible for 1 RCEP/AIA professional development hour (PDH).

Course instructor for the course, Alan Johnston, is MIMOSA president and a voting member of the ISA95 Committee and Convenor for ISO TC 184/WG 6, with the Scope of Asset Intensive Industry Interoperability. 

Digital twins, asset management, related standards

Digital twins are increasingly being used to support operations and maintenance activities in platforms, facility and plant assets including related analytics. Digital twins often are proprietary. Digital twins also often are developed and maintained in proprietary applications and systems that are parts of proprietary digital ecosystems. Industry needs greater modularity, interoperability and standardization to gain more potential business benefits associated with industrial digital transformation.

Substantial standardization work is underway at the Industry, ISO and ISO/IEC levels with a focus on Interoperability and a supplier/vendor neutral industrial digital ecosystem specification. Any organization can implement this work in an interoperable way using a system of systems approach. The work is led at the industry level by MIMOSA in cooperation with other industry standards developing organizations that are part of the OpenO&M initiative, where MIMOSA focuses on digital transformation for asset lifecycle management. The lifecycle approach enables digital twins to be established during capital projects with optimum costs and quality, then maintained, synchronized and leveraged throughout the rest of the asset lifecycle, through end of life and remediation. Without taking a rip-and-replace approach, pre-existing applications and systems (as well as new ones) can be incorporated through standardized adaptors. Information remediation also is possible to enable existing/brownfield assets to be incorporated in the same strategy.

The Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem (OIIE) is the first specification for a supplier/vendor neutral industrial digital ecosystem that enables standards-based interoperability for applications and systems across the full asset lifecycle. It is being developed, validated and updated through and industry pilot managed by MIMOSA. Outputs from this pilot are used to generate formal ISO Technical Reports as the input for future parts of ISO 18101 which addresses interoperability for asset intensive industries. The same approach has been included in ISO/IEC JWG 21 TF 8 work on digital ecosystems and digital twins for smart manufacturing.

More answers about digital ecosystems, asset management

More answers on these topics follow from Johnston below. 

Past standards often didn’t result in interoperability. What are a few key ways these standards are or hope to be different?

Johnston: The standards and specifications included in the OIIE and subsequently ISO 18101 are specifically designed to help achieve standards-based interoperability in a pragmatic manner, based on standardization of methods and practices used for years in the enterprise systems integration community.

They build on top of and re-use the standards that only identified and defined the concepts, then add the remaining details required for interoperability in standardized, fully dressed OIIE use cases, built using a standardized OIIE use case architecture and R&D methodologies.

Rather than trying to boil the ocean and do everything ourselves, this methodology lets us focus on specific industry use cases, building a collection of them that are incrementally defined managed as standards. These use cases share the OIIE primary components for interoperability purposes. They are specifications for standard, APIs, protocols, directories, registers, message models, and data models that are used in a repeatable, scalable, and sustainable way.

Our initial focus on various aspects of asset lifecycle Management really helped, as almost all operators agreed they didn’t compete in this space, so it provided a safe space to start.

The Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem (OIIE) and ISO 18101 will enable industrial digital transformation by helping to model, monitor and manage an architecture for physical asset management, explains Alan T. Johnston MIMOSA President and Convenor of ISO TC 184/WG 6 – “Interoperability for Asset Intensive Industries” in an Oct. 21 Virtual Training Week course (archived for a year), called “Standards-based Interoperability for Digital Transformation in Asset Lifecycle Management.” Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week, MIMOSA

The Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem (OIIE) and ISO 18101 will enable industrial digital transformation by helping to model, monitor and manage an architecture for physical asset management, explains Alan T. Johnston MIMOSA President and Convenor of ISO TC 184/WG 6 – “Interoperability for Asset Intensive Industries” in an Oct. 21 Virtual Training Week course (archived for a year), called “Standards-based Interoperability for Digital Transformation in Asset Lifecycle Management.” Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology Virtual Training Week, MIMOSA

I’m glad the standards have pilot projects. Will the pilots influence future iterations of the standards or are the standards likely to stay as is for some time?

Johnston: Absolutely. The OIIE R&D methodology directly leverages the OIIE OGI pilot, which has now expanded beyond oil and gas demonstration asset classes but retains the name for linkage to ISO.

OIIE use cases are incrementally developed, validated, and enhanced using the pilot which is run in phases with sprints using an agile methodology.

The use cases are selected and prioritized based on known industry requirements flowing from our members, pilot sponsors and industry partners.

How is lack of standardization holding back industrial digitalization and efficiencies?

Johnston: Modularity, interoperability and standardization are three long-standing ways of gaining efficiencies when new technology is developed in progressive industrial revolution phases.

Industry 4.0 (Industrie 4.0) requires large scale industrial digital transformation to achieve its objectives, but that transformation has been extremely difficult to achieve due to the highly heterogeneous nature of asset intensive industries and their supply chains. Individual industry participants really can’t transform on their own and they don’t use the same applications and systems or infrastructure platforms.

Standards-based Interoperability is the only pragmatic way to span this heterogeneous landscape and enable industry participants to achieve mutually beneficial digital transformation in conjunction with their industry business partners.

Use of these standards will make lifecycle use of digital twins easier and more efficient? How?

Johnston: While many specialized firms will need to develop many types of digital twins that can be used across the asset lifecycles, they will be able add more value if they are developed following published, supplier-neutral rules for interoperability, which would collectively define a supplier-neutral industrial digital ecosystem like the OIIE and ISO 18101. Standardization of these rules will enable many market participants of all sizes to build individual digital twins as systems elements, which will interoperate with other systems elements to build interoperating systems and systems of systems. If this interoperability is based on industry and international standards, it will enable the maximum degree of market openness, innovation, and competition to build the best specialize digital twins, while not being constrained by a few dominant suppliers.

What are some commonly misunderstood terms related to asset lifecycle management? How can standards help?

Johnston: Each discipline involved in the asset lifecycle has its own jargon and even within a single discipline that is not always broadly understood in a common manner. Relevant examples for this conversation would include knowing the basic systems engineering terms of system element, system and system of systems along with what is meant by a use case, scenario and event. In the more traditional areas, we often lack broadly shared knowledge about basic distinctions such as the identifiers for P&ID Tags and Functional Locations versus Unique Asset Identifiers and Manufacturers Models and serial numbers and how they relate to UUIDs and other IT/IS/IM specifications. Basic terminology issues are resolvable with open technical dictionaries, while more complex concepts may require ontology.

What are some key ways your use cases could be applied in other industries?

Johnston: All of the current OIIE use cases have been developed to support asset lifecycle management, which is inherently takes place across multiple, interdependent industry sectors. The collection of industry participants falling under the umbrella of asset intensive industries and their Supply Chains are certainly included. That is very useful for helping industry participants to be able to interoperate with each other without requiring a common set of applications software, systems, and infrastructure platforms to be used by everyone. This would include operators, suppliers of equipment and devices commonly used in these industries, along with the many services (traditional and digital services) suppliers. Soon, the suppliers will include digital capabilities models, enabling market participants to find each other using digital discovery services, then agree to connect and engage in business with each other in a re-configurable, scalable, and secure system of systems.

Have supply chain difficulties related to COVID-19 uncovered weaknesses where these standards could help? Put another way, how can standards help resiliency, especially for critical infrastructure?  

Johnston: Yes, the lack of real visibility into supply chains and the risks associated with them has now become much more obvious to everyone. Deeper visibility into associated engineering, design, reliability, operating and maintenance information would certainly be helpful, and the standards can enable this in a pragmatic manner. Once the standardization effort reaches fit for purpose levels that are validated in the OIIE OGI pilot, the next decisions are legal and commercial. International standardization also helps with the legal issues, as those standards are globally enforceable, while industry and national standards may have different levels of enforceability in different regions of the world.

Thanks for the standards, organizations and collaboration maps. Where and how can like-minded engineers get involved to help?

Johnston: There are several ways to become engaged in the effort. Since we are driving the workstreams through the OIIE R&D process and the associated OIIE OGI pilot, we have several OIIE working groups, which have different focal points. Participation in those groups can be free of charge for individual industry experts. They were identified on one the of the slides in my presentation.

MIMOSA membership provides a more direct way of impacting the entire body of work included in the OIIE and we have sought to make that a reasonably priced model, particularly for small suppliers, where we think much of the needed innovation will take place. People interested in either of these can contact me via email or MIMOSA through the contact information on the mimosa.org website.

Could you please explain, in the simplest words possible, a few of the most important acronyms in your talk? ISBM, for instance, is it implementation specification binary message? What does it mean, and how will it make my job easier?

Johnston: The ISBM was historically defined as the “Information Service Bus Model,” but that is being deprecated. Marketing organization now seem to dislike the use of the term “Bus,” but the same technology specifications enable interoperability in cloud infrastructure, to the degree that it currently exists. The OpenO&M ISBM specification is a more detail, implementation-oriented specification for the ISA95, IEC 62264 message service model (MSM), which provides the other details needed to ensure interoperability. Because we are doing this work collaboratively with the ISA95 team and then shared with ISO, IEC and ISC/IEC, we are assured that it will work across a much broader range of use cases and the ongoing work is helping to provide a viable approach for managed industry clusters, as the next step beyond hub and spoke or point to point network chaos.

What practical advice do you have for engineers and the IS, IM, IT support staffs who work in maintenance and reliability management?

Johnston: The next 5 to 10 years are going to be a period of massive change, whether we like it or not. A combination of geopolitical and socioeconomic factors will force changes in industry that are not necessarily going to happen in the most thoughtful ways. Industrial digital transformation has the potential to help us gain the needed efficiencies and agility in first world nations, so that most of global competition is not just focused on cheap labor, but rather on quality and innovation, which our engineers, IS, IM and IT professionals can enable. If you wish to help shape the industrial future in a sustainable way, get engaged in some of the activities associated with the OIIE and Iso 18101.

You mentioned O&M and ISA being involved in this effort. How is this work relevant to operations management?

Johnston: Yes, I am also a long-term member of the ISA95 Committee, which develops ISA95, which has been taken to ISO and IEC as IEC/ISOC 62264, which includes many of the concepts in the OIIE. We have had very good cooperation in developing the core specifications for the OpenO&M OIIE primary components, where the committee leadership team are active participants. The current plan calls for OIIE operations management use cases to be developed and validated starting in 2022 in full cooperation with the ISA95 Committee, which will be a great addition to the ones being developed to cover the asset lifecycle.

Alan Johnston is MIMOSA president and a voting member of the ISA95 Committee and Convenor for ISO TC 184/WG 6, with the Scope of Asset Intensive Industry Interoperability. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media and Technology, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

KEYWORDS: Asset lifecycle management, open standards, MIMOSA

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Alan Johnston
Author Bio: Alan Johnston is MIMOSA president and a voting member of the ISA95 Committee and Convenor for ISO TC 184/WG 6, with the Scope of Asset Intensive Industry Interoperability