Miele has decided to consequently use the OPC UA (Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control / Unified Architecture Standard) in its device manufacturing.
The integrated security providing encryption and signing is comprehensively implemented throughout Miele.
One major advantage of OPC UA is provision of standardised interfaces within different systems. The time efforts caused by integration, when inventing the wheel over and over again, has mostly come to an end.
With that the real task, of transporting data content, got back the focus. Reducing engineering efforts in communication technology, i.e. in highly flexible production processes like Industry 4.0, dramatically decreases costs.
Christian Stickling, Miele, information technology in appliance production, said: “Because global players like Microsoft, Siemens and SAP pushing the OPC UA Standard, we are able create new and integral concepts.
“Today we are pilot customers of Siemens and we validate the potential of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Services on selected production lines, emphasising on Machine Learning and Smart Factory. Also, the coordination with SAP regarding OPC UA standardised and production-related exchange of data content, looks very promising.”
Miele uses material flow simulation, which will be using OPC UA standards to effectively obtain live data directly from the source. With that feedback into higher level systems can be visualised, optimised and controlled. Hence, a simulation supported control station is realised.
Additional advantage is the use of virtualised hardware. The principles of ‘Hardware in the Loop’ is validating the processes already during the construction and planning phase.
Miele demands the integration of intelligent actuators and sensors from all of its suppliers of manufacturing technology. According to the company’s principle: “Always Superior, Miele is on its way into the digital future”.
Stefan Hoppe, OPC Foundation vice-president remarked “By mandating the integration of all of its third party intelligent actuators and sensors and standardising on OPC UA, Miele is taking concrete steps towards reaping the rewards the ‘Smart Factory’ concept has to offer. True to its slogan, Miele continues to demonstrate its commitment to always improve.”