The architectural design and implementation of a digital platform for Industry 4.0 SME collaboration

Zixu Liu, Pedro Sampaio, Grigory Pishchulov, Nikolay Mehandjiev, Sonia Cisneros Cabrera, Arnd Schirrmann , Filip Jiru , Nisrine Bnouhanna

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This paper presents the architectural design and implementation of DIGICOR — a collaborative Industry 4.0 (I4.0) platform aimed at enabling SMEs to dynamically form supply-chain collaborations so as to pool production capacities and capabilities and jointly address complex supply chain requests. The DIGICOR architecture builds on the event-driven service-oriented architecture (EDSOA) model to support the collaboration between SMEs, dynamic modelling of their systems and services, and their integration in the supply chains of large OEMs, enforcing digital platform governance rules for knowledge protection and security. In contrast to the extant platforms assessed through our systematic review, the proposed architecture supports the entire lifecycle of I4.0 collaborations, from creation of viable teams to deployment and operation. The architecture provides an open and extensible solution for (i) creating a marketplace for the collaboration partners, (ii) providing services for planning and controlling the collaborative production, logistics, and risk management, while supporting APIs for third parties to provide complementary services such as advanced analytics, simulation, and optimization; and (iii) seamless connectivity to automation solutions, smart objects and real-time data sources. We report on the design of the architecture and its innovative artefacts such as the component model description and the semantic model constructs created for meaningful event exchanges between architectural end-points. We also describe a running use case demonstrating implementation scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103623
Number of pages24
JournalComputers in Industry
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2022


  • Application integration
  • Digital platforms
  • Digitalization
  • Enterprise systems architecture
  • Industry 4.0
  • Ontologies
  • SMEs

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures


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