The Transformation Towards Smart (er) Factories: Integration Requirements of the Digital Twin

S. Waschull*, J.C. Wortmann, J.A.C. Bokhorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


The vision of the smart factory with its interconnected systems is based on the seamless (real-time) integration of data across the information system (IS) landscape. Yet, due to the existence of many legacy systems, this task is far from trivial. In industrial practice, the IS landscape comprises systems of different application functionality which can be characterized as technologically heterogeneous, e.g. transaction processing versus real-time systems. Integrating such systems has always been a major challenge and constraining force for many organizations. This problem is receiving renewed attention in the context of the implementation of the digital twin in manufacturing. Due to its central role in the IS landscape, the digital twin needs to communicate with a number of heterogeneous applications to achieve its full potential, i.e. achieving a complete virtual representation of an asset, process or product. This research analyses the integration requirements from the perspective of the digital twins’ application functionality. In particular, we provide an explicit mapping of the integrations needed between the digital twin and existing information systems (IS) in manufacturing, which serves as a basis to better understand integration issues. These findings provide an explanation for and a conceptualization of some of the challenges that emerge when transforming towards an interconnected smart factory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Production Management Systems. The Path to Digital Transformation and Innovation of Production Management Systems - IFIP WG 5.7 International Conference, APMS 2020, Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationThe Path to Digital Transformation and Innovation of Production Management Systems
EditorsBojan Lalic, Ugljesa Marjanovic, Vidosav Majstorovic, Gregor von Cieminski, David Romero
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-57993-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-57992-0
Publication statusPublished - 30-Aug-2020

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Volume591 IFIP
ISSN (Print)1868-4238
ISSN (Electronic)1868-422X


  • Application functionality
  • Digital twin
  • Information systems
  • Integration requirements
  • Smart factory

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