Users, vendors endorse ISA’s integration standards, WBF’s XML schemas

Longwood. FL—A group of manufacturers and software vendors recently endorsed the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society’s (ISA) ISA-95 Enterprise Control System Integration standards and World Batch Forum’s (WBF) Business to Manufacturing Markup Language (B2MML) for implementing ISA’s standards.

By Control Engineering Staff September 23, 2004

Longwood. FL— A group of manufacturers and software vendors recently endorsed the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society ’s (ISA) ISA-95 Enterprise Control System Integration standards and World Batch Forum ’s (WBF) Business to Manufacturing Markup Language (B2MML) for implementing ISA’s standards.

The group made its endorsement at a plant-to-business interoperability workshop hosted by SAP, an enterprise management software supplier, and ARC Advisory Group. Attendees also discussed establishing an open vendor and user consortium to share knowledge and best practices for plant-floor-to-business integration, and provide compliance certification for using B2MML and related standards.

SAP and ARC were joined by participant/representatives from Apriso, Arla Foods, Datasweep, Dow Corning Corp., DuPont Engineering, Eli Lilly, Emerson Process Management, Empresas Polar S.A., GE Fanuc, General Mills, Invensys-Wonderware, LightHammer, MPDV, MPR de Venezuela, OSIsoft, Procter & Gamble, PSI Soft, Rockwell Automation, Rohm and Haas, SAB Miller, Siemens, and Yokogawa, as well as representatives from ISA and WBF.

B2MML’s schemas, which were developed by WBF, are an XML implementation of the ISA-95 standard. The standard establishes a common definition and format for information exchange between shop-floor and business systems.

Responding to a recent ARC survey, workshop attendees add they expect ISA-95 to deliver significant supply chain benefits to users. ARC expressed similar sentiments in a recent electronic newsletter.

‘The time has come to make some real progress in the area of plant-to-business interoperability,’ stated ARC. ‘Advances in technology, as well as standards, have convinced us that a catalyst can create some major changes, and we believe this initiative, kick-started by SAP, can be that catalyst. There’s a huge amount of interest in this among our clients, and an over-whelming response from the manufacturing community.’

Dave Emerson, chairman of WBF’s XML Working Group, and Keith Unger, chairman of the ISA’s SP-95 Committee, note that key end-user companies that have adopted ISA-95 and B2MML are reporting reductions in integration time and costs, and greater agility in integrating plant floor systems with business systems.

Along with its partners and customers, SAP adds that it’s currently planning the next round of technical discussions about endorsing ISA-95 and B2MML standards. This meeting will likely take place before the end of 2004, adds Dennis Brandl, editor of the ISA-95 standard and a leader of WBF’s B2MML development effort.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com