One company speaks of charges; another company will call it batch or a production run. And even within one company you could say office people speak ‘a different language’ than shop floor personnel. They also use different automation systems that each has their own terminology.
Although they speak different languages, both levels will have to communicate with each other. The office will have to provide information about new customer orders, raw materials that have been ordered, specific customer demands for products, and so on. The shop floor will also have to send information to the office. For example, information about the status of orders, about the exact amounts of raw materials that were used in the production process and so on.
With the appearance of new technologies, it is getting easier to automate the exchange of information between the office and the shop floor. An automated interface between enterprise and control systems can lead to a lot of advantages. Important information becomes accessible at the right time and the right place. The enterprise has access to real time information such as information about raw materials and end products, which enables optimum usage of storage capacity.
The international standard ISA-95 has been developed to address the problems encountered during the development of automated interfaces between enterprise and control systems. This standard has been developed all kinds of manufacturing environments, all over the world. It can be applied in all industries, and in all sorts of processes, such as batch, continuous, and repetitive or discrete processes.
There are 5 parts of the ISA-95 standard. Part 1 consists of standard terminology and object models, which can be used to decide which information, should be exchanged. Part 2 consists of attributes for every object that is defined in part 1. The objects and attributes of part 2 can be used for the exchange of information between different systems, but these objects and attributes can also be used as the basis for relational databases. Part 3 focuses on the functions and activities at level 3 (Production / MES layer). It is an excellent guideline for describing and comparing the production levels of different sites in a standardized way. The SP95 committee is developing part 4, which is entitled “Object Models and Attributes of Manufacturing Operations Management”. The SP95 commission has also started the development of part 5 of ISA-95, entitled “Business to manufacturing transactions”.