NAMUR, ProcessNet, VDMA; Process technology organizations need standardized interfaces for modular plants

from 2018-06-04

Modularization is one of the key trends in process engineering to make production more flexible. A prerequisite for this is the cross-manufacturer compatibility of such modules. NAMUR and the VDMA trade association for process engineering machines and apparatus (VtMA) as well as the initiative ProcessNet of DECHEMA and VDI strive for the introduction of manufacturer-neutral, standardized interfaces for "intelligent" process engineering modules, which will allow easy integration of these modules in plants.

The process industry is also facing the challenge of making its production more flexible in order to be able to follow the trend towards more individualized products and shorter product life cycles. Modular systems that can be assembled quickly, depending on the product and production volume, are one way to meet the call for flexibility and scalability.

Modular production plants are based on combinable plant components with integrated automation, which are assembled and operated by the operator to form the entire plant. So far, however, there is a lack of standardized interfaces. They are the prerequisite for quickly integrating modules into the automation technology and putting them into operation. The organizations NAMUR, the VDMA trade association VtMA as well as the initiative ProcessNet of DECHEMA and VDI are therefore pushing for the prompt availability of corresponding technologies and their integration into the automation systems. Even if not all functionalities of the modules are covered at first, already usable partial functionalities lead to a considerable reduction of the engineering and commissioning effort of the participating partners. Applying the desired technologies to today's existing plants, optimizations can be made in an efficient way in the further life cycle.

NAMUR, the VDMA trade association VtMA and the Initiative ProcessNet of DECHEMA and VDI have been working together with the ZVEI on a modularization of automation for several years. The basis is formed by so called Module Type Packages (MTP). The MTP is a manufacturer and technology neutral description of the characteristics of a process module and its interfaces. The MTP is generated from the engineering data of the module automation. Thus, each higher-level automation system that can read in an MTP is able to interpret the functions of a module and to control them accordingly.

Standards have already been developed in the field of human-machine interface functionality of an MTP and published in a national standard. Even today, when using modules from different manufacturers, a uniform operating concept is ensured in a complete plant. To offer this as a standard product is a wish to the automation technology manufacturers. In addition, the standards for the manufacturer-neutral integration of functionalities for process control are currently being developed. NAMUR, ProcessNet and VDMA together with the ZVEI will be presenting the latest status of the technology at the Achema (Hall 9.2, Booth D41). With the slogan "Process Industry 4.0: The Age of Modular Production" and demonstrators their fruitful collaboration will be shown live.

NAMUR – Interessengemeinschaft Automatisierungstechnik der Prozessindustrie e.V.
c/o Bayer AG
Build. K 9
51368 Leverkusen
Tel.: +49 214/30-71034

ProcessNet - eine Initiative von DECHEMA und VDI-GVC
c/o  DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.
Theodor-Heuss-Allee 25
60486 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49 69 7564 663

Verfahrenstechnische Maschinen und Apparate
Lyoner Str. 18
60528 Frankfurt
Tel.: +49 69 66 03 1432

« Back