Batch Processing in a Wider Perspective

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With the “new economy” comes new requirements on all manufacturing and processing activities, including batch processing. The entire chain of activities – from order placement to delivery – must work seamlessly. This implies that batch processing must be dealt with in a wider concept. In batch systems of today there are generally no means for synchronization or coordination of activities outside the scope of the batch. The solution presented in this paper is to have a flexible but yet tructured component-based system where the batch-processing system will constitute one part – nevertheless an important part - of the entire system. The entire system corresponds to a MES system, which can be structured according to the standard ISA S95. A framework is used to synchronize and coordinate the activities of the different components. The execution of a batch is handled by the batch-execution-component, which is S88 compliant. The batch execution component can be synchronized with other components at the stop and start of a batch but also during the execution in a sequential or parallel way. Examples are given in the paper. The benefits of this approach are vital in the “new economy”, where quicker “time-to-market” and “production-agility” become even more important. A system with well designed components and a flexible and user-friendly framework will shorten the project design time, the project implementation time, and the required time for introducing a new product on the market. By having a well-organized MES system in which the execution of the different cells can be synchronized, the production capacity of the area can increase.