Procter and Gamble has been a huge supporter of WBF since the beginning. David Cornell explained why. P&G needed to work with vendors to develop standards based interfaces; ERP with S95, MES with S95, and MES with S88. And P&G needed all their plant floor MES systems to play well with SAP, at the corporate level. P&G expects that they will save lots of time (months instead of years) implementing B2MML. Essentially, they’ve done what they call setting the standard for ERP and MES integration, using S95 and S88.
Jean Vieille, of psynapses.net, explained how to use S95 part 3 for MES functional URS. S95.3 is not yet an international standard like the first two parts are. It is going through the approval process at the IEC. Vieille explained how there are problems with the URS (User Requirement Specification) because MES “is a fuzzy area.” ISA95 Part 3 defines Manufacturing Operation Categories (MOCs) such as production, quality testing, maintenance, inventory control, and other MOCs can be defined such as distributon, transportation, logistics, etc.
It’s clear that we are WAY beyond control here. Yet it is essential to an understanding of how to control manufacturing processes that these topics be discussed and process automation professionals need to know these answers as well as they know how to minimize sample loop lag time. Do YOU know S95?
You don’t yet expect to see SAP at a control conference, but they keep springing up. SAP, along with Microsoft, has figured out that the way to the factory of the future leads directly through the process automation domain. Peter Van Vliet and Satya Narayan Sahu, both from SAP, talked about the S95 standard, how it affected SAP Netweaver software, and about SAP’s adoption of the S95 standards. No longer does SAP believe that manufacturing is a black box they don’t need to know about, and they only need to care about the goesintas and the goesoutas. SAP, said they, will be tightly integrating Netweaver with the shop floor using B2MML messaging.
You’ll pardon my skepticism for the moment, since it has been lots of years where SAP and the other ERP vendors basically ignored the plant environment, and refused to get their hands dirty. We’ll see.