VDMA OPC Compressed Air Systems Initiative
The joint VDMA and OPC Foundation Compressed Air Systems (CAS) Working Group will develop an OPC UA Information Model for the communication of compressed air system components/devices. For communication between such components especially a Master Control System (MCS) to higher-level systems or devices, a universal manufacturer-independent interface based on OPC UA is to be created.
A typical compressed air station consists of several devices, such as compressors, dryers, filters, air quality monitoring units etc., it is commonly also equipped with a Master Control System (MCS). The latter is used to control and/or monitor the connected devices and gather information from the same. This aggregated information is often provided to higher level systems through existing field bus technology (e.g. Profibus, Modbus, CAN Bus), with the drawback that the content and structure of the provided information is highly dependent on the manufacturer of the MCS.
The OPC UA Compressed Air Systems (CAS) Companion Specification includes a description of a system and a basic description of its components. Main scope is to transport condition data of a CAS vertically into higher level manufacturing systems (MES; etc.) for information and monitoring purposes and to set basic parameters regarding the target values of the respective CAS. The description of the CAS and its components is focused on selected use cases, e. g. device identification, configuration, general data acquisition, energy management.
For this reason, the scope of this JWG is the development of a companion specification for the communication between the master control system and the higher level manufacturing system(s).
Further companion specifications are planned for single devices of a compressed air system (e.g. compressors, dryers). The CAS companion specification which includes a MCS will be an appropriate starting point therefore, as certain information of all connected devices is already available and specified in a manufacturer-independent way.
In the past year, the VDMA Compressors, Compressed Air and Vacuum Technology has started the initiative with the companies
- ALMiG Kompressoren, Köngen, D
- Atlas Copco Airpower n.v., Wilrijk, B
- BEKO TECHNOLOGIES, Neuss, D
- BOGE KOMPRESSOREN, Bielefeld, D
- Gebr. Becker, Wuppertal, D
- KAESER KOMPRESSOREN, Coburg, D
supported by Prof. Dr. Jochen Müller, Faculty of Process Engineering, Energy and Mechanical Systems, Technische Hochschule Köln- University of Applied Sciences.
With the kick-off of the Joint Working Group, on September 23rd, 2020, the circle of participants is expected to expand to include additional companies and organizations.
For further information contact Dr. Andreas Brand, VDMA, Andreas.Brand@vdma.org