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Enabler for plug-and-produce machines

The SOA PLC from Beckhoff is a TwinCAT 3 application scenario that combines logic functions with OPC UA services for data-consistent, secure and standardised communication.

The product and control parameters come directly from the SAP Manufacturing Suite. The production line is based on the linear XTS transport system from Beckhoff as well as automation components from Elster-Kromschröder (measurement technology), Asentics (image processing), Stäubli (robotics), and CAB (industrial printers).

The highlight of the application is that all IT and automation resources and the SAP system communicate with each other via OPC UA standardised SOA services, i.e. in a single “order processing language”.

All components function as separate machine units. The non-proprietary communication is based on OPC UA, which is recommended in the RAMI 4.0 architecture (Reference Architectural Model Industrie 4.0).

The autonomous units act as both OPC UA servers and clients. The various machine units are “orchestrated” by SAP Plant Connectivity software, i.e. the services are individually combined for each job.

Close integration of production processes up to the management level
The live demonstration shows the production of a key fob with an integrated smart chip and a personalised top cover.

After an order has been entered, the XTS ensures individual and highly dynamical transport and positioning of the key fob for the corresponding processing steps.

With TwinCAT as control platform, the XTS is integrated into the service-oriented architecture as a kind of plug-and-produce system.

The advantage of this system is that machine modifications or enhancements will not affect the engineering of the interaction, because only the machine’s services are visible at a higher level.

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