Manufacturing software glue
The control loop is the core of manufacturing efficiency: sensors measure, logic decides, and actuators move the process where it should go. Then do it again. Networks and software bind it together and help information flow to make it happen.
Information will flow from design, into the digital factory, through functional automation engineering and PLC programming, with incremental adjustments in real-time, in each stage, taking into account what happened previously and what happens next. With
’ integration of UGS (see “Digital Manufacturing Takes Off” in this issue), customers of these two companies will see more rapid integration and efficiencies as software enables faster information flow back and forth between design and manufacturing. The rest of the design and manufacturing world will see, observe, and create partnerships or other acquisitions as needed to do the same. Dennis Sadlowski, president and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation, says combining the digital world with the real world will enhance customer efficiency and success throughout the product life cycle. This issue’s cover story explains how integrated software brings more value across product lifecycles.
As software incorporates more functionality, ensuring code quality becomes more challenging (and necessary) because it touches more applications. A rock solid release is what
aims for as with its new Coordinated Product Release (CPR 9). Expected this summer but not shipping until October, the release includes the next version of the FactoryTalk integrated suite of scalable, modular applications. Kevin Roach, vice president of Rockwell Software, says CPR 9 “will support large systems in a robust environment. In testing, we wanted to ensure real-world situations and replicate the toughest challenges.” He promises greater compatibility, security, and functionality, within a flatter architecture, and the inclusion of OPC-UA, more third-party software integration, disaster recovery, version backups, device configuration management, Fieldbus Foundation and HART connectivity, condition-based monitoring, and auto-discover configuration. A new FactoryTalk Historian was developed in cooperation with
, using the PI System data historian.
As things get more complex, it’s more important than ever to apply design discipline to how code is structured and interacts. Models and standards are among ways the glue is applied. OPC-UA, ISA-88 standard, electronic device description language (EDDL), and XML’s progress in PLCopen’s Technical Committee 6 for XML are among recent advances. Read this column online for links to each.
Links to some recent software models and standards efforts
Batch standard ISA-88, Part 5 comments are sought
(and good for use elsewhere, including integration between continuous processing and packaging);
EDDL standard: ISA adopts IEC 61804 language for device integration
OPC Unified Architecture Specifications (Part 1 – Part 5) have been released and are available for download
PLCopen TC6– XML kick off meeting was deemed successful
; meetings are planned for September and October.