The Reference Architecture Model Industry 4.0 (RAMI4.0) was developed by the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) for the global establishment of broad acceptance of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 is the pioneering, holistic digital perspective on manufacturing companies, in which many corporations are already participating today - including China, Japan and India!

This is particularly important because it has been recognized that conventional production methods alone can hardly achieve any more competitiveness.

In order to be able to keep up in the future, advanced technologies must be used and automation increased.

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What is RAMI4.0 for?

RAMI4.0 describes the technical and organizational requirements for the digital transformation of industrial processes.

There are many reasons why it can make sense to digitize a production plant with RAMI4.0:

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A structured approach:

RAMI4.0 offers a structured approach and helps to systematically and comprehensively plan and implement the digitalization of production facilities.

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Uniform standards:

RAMI4.0 is based on uniform standards and therefore offers a common language and a common understanding for the digitalization of production facilities. This facilitates collaboration and the exchange of data and information.

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Integration of new and existing systems:

RAMI4.0 helps to integrate and network new and existing systems in the production environment.

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Increasing efficiency and quality:

Processes can be automated and optimized through the digitalization of production facilities, which can lead to an increase in efficiency and an improvement in quality.

Asset & Administration Shell in RAMI4.0

The asset and the asset administration shell play important roles in RAMI4.0.

➤ The Asset in RAMI4.0 refers to a technical or organizational element that is important for the execution of processes in a company. These can be machines, systems, sensors, actuators, vehicles or other technical systems.

➤ The Administration tray in RAMI4.0 refers to the level at which assets are managed in a company. It comprises the functionalities and processes required for the management, monitoring and control of assets.

In RAMI4.0, the evaluation of the communication capability and identifiability of an asset plays an important role. It is the prerequisite for assets to be networked and integrated in Industry 4.0 processes.

The networking of assets enables them to communicate with each other and exchange data. This allows processes to be automated and optimized and creates added value such as greater efficiency, better quality and a faster response to changes. In this way, flexible process structures can be created (see illustration on the right).

The identifiability of assets is also important, as it enables assets to be uniquely identified and therefore also uniquely assigned. One example of this is a production plant. A production plant can consist of many different machines, sensors, actuators and other technical systems that are connected and work together to carry out a specific process.

Assessing the communication capability and identifiability of an asset is the prerequisite for determining the necessary steps and measures for the networking and integration of assets.

Asset and asset administration shell in RAMI4.0

RAMI4.0 at Opdenhoff: OPDPRO.CARE and Opdenhoff consulting

With all the services that we at Opdenhoff provide for you, the question is: Is it possible to implement digitization wishes - and what is sustainable?

With our process analysis (based on RAMI4.0), we create an optimal basis. The process analysis is carried out using, for example, the value stream analysis or the process model according to the "Deming cycle" (Plan-Do-Check-Act) (see illustration below).

Process analysis

The individual process steps and the resources required for them are analyzed and the processes are visualized in their sequences.

Process analysis can be used, for example, to identify weak points in the processes and address them in a targeted manner. This can, for example, help to minimize sources of error and improve product quality. Process analysis can also improve the efficiency of processes, for example by reducing waste or using energy-efficient technologies.

Overall, process analysis is therefore an important step before digitizing a production plant, as it can help to understand the processes and improve them in a targeted manner. On this basis, targeted digitalization measures can then be developed and implemented to bring the greatest benefit to the company.

At Opdenhoff, we think outside the box: Can the process be digitized with our components? What about SCADA and visualization? Do we need labeling software? Is software for delivery date slots necessary?

We work with you to develop a process guideline and analyze the entire life cycle of the system using RAMI4.0.

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RAMI4.0 at a glance


RAMI consists of different life cycle phases - we at Opdenhoff are the specialists for the production phase.

RAMI4.0 is a three-dimensional map that shows the most important aspects of Industry 4.0. It ensures that everyone involved has a common perspective and develops a shared understanding.


Drawing RAMI4.0
RAMI4.0 Definition

The RAMI 4.0 reference architecture model and the Industry 4.0 components provide companies with a framework for the development of future products and business models. RAMI4.0 is a three-dimensional map that shows how the introduction of Industry 4.0 can be approached in a structured way. An important goal of RAMI4.0 is to ensure that all parties involved in Industry 4.0 discussions and activities have a common framework to understand each other. The RAMI4.0 framework should make it possible to identify standards in order to determine whether additions and changes are required. This model is supplemented by the Industrie 4.0 components. Both results are described in DIN SPEC 91345 (Reference Architecture Model Industrie 4.0).

Important features

RAMI4.0 defines a service-oriented architecture (SOA) in which application components provide services to other components via a communication protocol over a network. The basic principles of SOA are independent of providers, products and technologies. The aim is to break down complex processes into manageable packages, including data protection and IT security.

The current characteristics of "Old World Industry 3.0" in manufacturing are:

  • Hardware-based structure
  • Functions linked to hardware
  • Hierarchy-based communication
  • isolated product

The "New World: Industry 4.0" manufacturing systems are characterized by:

  • Flexible systems and machines
  • Functions distributed across the network
  • Participants interact across hierarchical levels
  • Communication between all parties involved
  • the product is part of the network
  • Structure of RAMI4.0

RAMI4.0 consists of a three-dimensional coordinate system that describes all the key aspects of Industry 4.0. In this way, complex relationships are broken down into smaller and simpler clusters.

Advantages of RAMI4.0

The model integrates different user perspectives and offers a common view of Industry 4.0 technologies. With RAMI4.0, the requirements of the sectors - from production automation to mechanical engineering and process engineering - can be addressed in industry associations and standardization committees. RAMI4.0 thus provides a common understanding of standards and use cases.

RAMI4.0 can be seen as a map of Industry 4.0 solutions. It is an orientation to map the requirements of the industries together with national and international standards to define and further develop Industrie 4.0. With the Industrie 4.0 initiatives, there is a refreshing interest in different organizations working cooperatively and overcoming the compartmentalization of national standardization bodies.

The challenge

The influx of technology is beginning to dramatically improve manufacturing. The RAMI4.0 model is central to understanding the entire manufacturing and supply chain.

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