The Asset Administration Shell (AAS) is the standardized digital representation of an asset, the corner stone for the interoperability of Industrie 4.0 components organized in Industrie 4.0 systems. The Industrie 4.0 component is the combination of the asset and its digital representation, the AAS, as illustrated in Figure 1. The AAS may be the logical representation of a simple component, a machine or a plant at any level of the equipment hierarchy. The manufacturer provides the standardized digital representation to his customers, creating both an AAS for the asset type and for each asset instance. The system designers, the asset users, the applications, the processes and the asset itself update the information of the AAS during the lifetime of the asset until its disposal. From the manufacturer’s point of view the asset is a product. The manufacturer manages different asset types that have a history with different versions. In parallel, he produces instances of these different types and versions.


Figure 1 – Smart manufacturing component – I4.0-component

The AAS metamodel stipulates structural principles of the AAS in a formal manner (UML) in order to enable an exchange of information between AASs. The main parts of AAS model elements describe the represented asset as well as its submodels (see Figure 2). Optionally, dictionaries and views may be part of an AAS. A dictionary contains so-called concept descriptions. Views define a set of elements selected for a specific stakeholder, e.g. for a machine operator. An AAS represents exactly one asset.


Figure 2 – AAS Metamodel overview