Plug and play with the Weihenstephan standards

The simplicity of a new standard for data linking machines in the bottling hall to a production data acquisition system (PDA) in line with the Weihenstephan campus was clearly demonstrated at the drinktec exhibition in September 2005. Operational data from the PILOT equipment in the Munich university technical department was transferred to the exhibition stand via the Internet (VPN). The line with up-to-date inspection technology (the HEUFT InLine empty bottle inspector), a modern conveyor control system (HEUFT synchron) as well as automation and IT components provided by Siemens was made available to the university for training and research purposes this year. In this way the counter values and operating states of the empty bottle inspector could be transferred to a foreign PDA system due to a uniform interface without the necessity of technical clarification between the companies involved. "Plug and play" are the keywords which the new standard made possible.

The open standard which does not require a licence, with the official title "the Weihenstephan standards for operational data acquisition along drinks filling lines", defines the physical interface, in other words network and protocols, which is used for connecting machines and control devices to an IT system and the data which has to be made available by the devices for the PDA system. A fast and therefore cost-effective "plug and play" installation is possible on-site by means of a device description file which defines the data range of each machine. Therefore the individual engineering of each separate data connection can be omitted in the future.

Verifiability is one of the most important advantages of the new interface. The interface on the machine side (server) as well as the data acquisition systems (clients) can be tested independently with the test software provided by the Weihenstephan university. Machine A understands machine B if the devices supplied by supplier A and supplier B play with the test software. Therefore a step by step data validation is possible during commissioning situations.

What is the importance of the Weihenstephan standards for the HEUFT company?
We have participated with a high level of commitment in the industrial cooperation between breweries, bottling plants, machine suppliers and system houses. The efficient implementation of projects with a focus on central tasks is the vision.

The HEUFT company as a machine supplier is prepared for the standard. New as well as older generations of devices from the SPECTRUM TX range can be connected via the Weihenstephan standard. The HEUFT PROFILER line data analysis profits due to a more cost-efficient connection of the devices of other manufacturers.

The drinktec 2005 exhibition in Munich demonstrated that visions will already become reality in the near future.