Users and Vendors Endorse ISA Integration Standards and World Batch Forum XML Schemas
A group of leading manufacturing companies and software vendors have 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 the standard’s implementation.
The companies made their endorsement at a recently-held plant-to-business interoperability workshop hosted by SAP and ARC Advisory Group.
Workshop attendees discussed the establishment of an open vendor and user consortium to share knowledge and best practices for plant floor-to-business integration, and to provide compliance certification for use of the B2MML and related standards.
In addition to SAP and ARC, participants included representatives from Apriso, Arla Foods, Datasweep, Dow Corning Corporation, 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.
The B2MML 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 systems and business systems.
Responding to an ARC survey, workshop attendees indicated they expect the use of the ISA-95 standard to delver significant supply chain benefits to users. ARC expressed similar sentiments in a recent electronic newsletter.
“ARC believes that the time has come to make some real progress in the area of plant-to-business interoperability,” the consulting firm wrote. “Advances in technology, as well as standards, have brought us to the point where we believe a catalyst can affect some major changes, and we believe this initiative kick-started by SAP can be that catalyst.”
Dave Emerson, chairman of WBF’s XML Working Group, and Keith Unger, chairman of the ISA’s SP-95 Committee, noted 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.
SAP is currently planning the next round of technical discussions regarding endorsement of ISA-95 and B2MML standards that will likely take place before the end of the year.