20 Dec 2016
Real-time capability and machine safety were two important topics at the seventh working group meeting for the development of the Industry 4.0-ready interface between injection moulding machines and robots.
At the beginning of the meeting that was held at Beckhoff in Verl on 13 December 2016, Stephan Hoppe (Vice President of the OPC Foundation) explained the current status of OPC UA and TSN (time sensitive networks). OPC UA is already established worldwide as the standard for Industry 4.0 communication between machines. This is shown by OPC UA being listed in the respective reference architectures of the German platform Industrie 4.0 and the US Industrial Internet Consortium as well as the Chinese efforts to adopt OPC UA as national standard.
EUROMAP 79 requires real-time capability for many signals. Although the needed extension TSN is still under development, this does not affect the modelling of the information to be exchanged.
There was an intensive discussion which signals have to be exchanged between injection moulding machine and robot during start-up of the production to avoid dangerous situations and collisions. For this a system of request and release signals is necessary.
The next meeting of the working group is planned for 9 March 2017 at Sigmatek in Lamprechtshausen (Austria).
Image source: Beckhoff