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Manufacturer-independent Engineering With Automation ML

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Manufacturer-independent Engineering With Automation ML
Manufacturer-independent Engineering With Automation ML

Video: Manufacturer-independent Engineering With Automation ML

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Video: AutomationML Editor: Video-Tutorial 2023, January
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As part of the OPAK joint research project (open engineering platform for autonomous, mechatronic automation components in a function-oriented architecture) that ended in September, Festo developed intelligent components and, together with partners from science and industry, enabled cross-vendor engineering with AML in the engineering tool Codesys Application Composer for the first time.

Virtual image of the production plant

In order to make the engineering process more intuitive and efficient, a virtual image of the production plant was created in OPAK. In the planning phase, all processes and functions can be simulated and tested using the engineering software - even before the system is physically built. The prerequisites for this include intelligent components, their description in AML and a corresponding software interface in the engineering tool.

Picture gallery

Intelligent components are the basis of future production systems. These self-contained, autonomously functioning mechatronic assemblies improve the production process thanks to increased functionality - from commissioning to ongoing operation. They network, organize and configure themselves in order to take over orders from the higher control level.

Integrated drive unit

A first result of the work in the OPAK project was the prototype of an integrated stopper module. In the second part of the project, Festo developed an integrated drive unit: valves, throttles and pilot control of the drive unit are each installed in a functional disc. "This modular structure enables a flexible arrangement of the functional disks and thus a wide range of customer applications for different product types," explains Johannes Hoos, project manager at OPAK at Festo. “The individual panes as well as hoses and cables can be connected easily and without tools. The component can optionally be equipped with a fully integrated controller and Ethernet-based networking or with a simple IO-Link interface. This enables networking for industry 4.0 and differentiates the drive unit from existing cylinder-valve combinations."

The Automation ML description language enables uniform data exchange between different engineering tools without system breaks. The AML interface developed in the project for the engineering tools Codesys Application Composer and Depictor enables manufacturer-independent engineering. This means that the Festo components with their standardized AML description can be loaded into the engineering software and already contain all the information and functions required for their application. This allows the system designer to assemble the components, focus on the desired automation process and does not have to deal with abstract commands when programming controls. The component is included thanks to thelinked information about their function ready for use in a service-oriented machine architecture.

Prototype of intelligent components in industrial plants

In order to be able to show how intelligent components will work in the production plants of the future, the project partners have built an exemplary industrial cell with numerous intelligent units such as the stopper module. This shows how efficient engineering in networked machines can work in the factory of the future - from engineering to commissioning and ongoing production.

The integrated drive unit from Festo was used in the "RokuPrint" screen printing system from system manufacturer ASYS, who is a partner in the project. (jv)

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