Trading recipes: WBF combines standards for transporting production data

The Forum for Automation and Manufacturing Professionals—widely known as WBF—has combined two languages for transporting production-related data into a single standard that should prove useful to all companies in process industries.
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff December 2, 2008

The Forum for Automation and Manufacturing Professionals—widely known as WBF —has combined two languages for transporting production-related data into a single standard that should prove useful to all companies in process industries.

The new standard is being referred to as Version V0401 of B2MML and BatchML.

B2MML (Business To Manufacturing Markup Language) is an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) implementation of the ISA95 family of standards, known internationally as IEC/ISO 62264. BatchML (Batch Markup Language) is an XML implementation of the ISA88 family of standards. B2MML and BatchML consist of sets of XML schemas written using the World Wide Web Consortium’s XML Schema Language, and implement data models for ISA95 and ISA88 respectively.

ISA95 and ISA88 have been widely adopted in the process industries, are supported by most major manufacturing operations management system suppliers, and are in use at Fortune 500 process companies around the world.

According to WBF, the most significant functional expansion in this release is the BatchML support for ISA 88 General Recipes. This is expected to facilitate standards based implementation and exchange of corporate-level product definitions in the process industries.

Dennis Brandl, chairman of the WBF XML Technical Working Group, says the new version of BatchML supports business to manufacturing transactions dealing with recipes, equipment, batch lists, and product definitions. The update to B2MML and extensions to BatchML provide significant new integration functionality—including user extensibility to BatchML, allowing end users and vendors to customize the schemas to match their business requirements, products, and applications, Brandl says.

“Multiple companies are developing products and tools that use the new definitions,” Brandl continued. “General Recipes are product definitions used in the process industries to define equipment independent processing. This version will add XML schema support for the ISA88 Part 3 General Recipe standard, and will provide these industries with a valuable tool to document, archive, and exchange their process definitions.”

The support of ISA88 Part 3 General and Site Recipes should make it easier for manufacturers to exchange data for more of the batch product life-cycle. General and Site Recipes enable creation of corporate-level, equipment-independent recipes that define the processing, material requirements, and equipment requirements for making a product in different sites around the world.

“This release continues the work of WBF in providing high value and easily available standards for the production industries,” says Maurice Wilkins, VP Yokogawa Global Strategic Technology Marketing Center, and chairman of WBF. “The WBF schemas have become the most widely used business-to-business manufacturing integration standards, and the new version adds the functionality required for ISA88 support.”

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