AutomationML PlugFest 2015

Mudassar Ahmed, a first year doctoral student at the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory, attended a two-day AutomationML Practitioners meeting at Fraunhofer IOSB at Karlsruhe, Germany.

AutomationML is a rising standard in the context of Industry 4.0. In the meeting, the methods for data access and exchange for automation systems engineering and commissioning were discussed. These are of particular interest to DIAL's on-going project about 3D printing (3DP) enabled re-distributed manufacturing  (RDM) where the benefits of distributed intelligent control are restricted by the unwillingness of companies to share information.


The meeting covered the current architecture of Automation Markup Language (AML) and how to graphically model and interconnect data from heterogeneous tool landscapes of various engineering disciplines (mechanical, electrical, control, PLC etc.). AML incorporates numerous standards through strongly typed links about objects in a typical automation plant i.e. Topology (CAEX), Geometry (COLLADA), Kinematics (COLLADA) and Logic (PLCOpen XML). The plugins for AML are being continuously developed and the programming can now also be carried out using a Java Engine.


Although the guided workshops discussed the examples of static data (cables, IO modules, PLCs etc) modelling in AML editor as well its storage and exchange, however, upon enquiry, it was learnt that it can also be used in conjunction with a companion standard OPCUA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture). This is particularly useful for the case of 3DP-enabled RDM where there is a need for continuously updating real-time information.


The success stories highlighted the benefits of AML in decreasing multiple (often manual) creation of engineering data which is error-prone, time and money consuming; avoiding redundancies of engineering data; merging related engineering data; as well as optimising data exchange. However, it was also learnt that AML only offers a tool for exchanging data that is already available. In other words, it does not seem to provide a framework to encourage unwilling trading partners to share their data.


Please contact Mudassar Ahmed for further information.


Date published

26 October 2015

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