Together with the Digital Data Chain Consortium, VEGA wants to further advance the digital twin of its instruments.
Transparent data exchange between manufacturers and users is an almost limitless topic. To make progress in this area, many individual solutions, including some proprietary ones, have to be brought together under one roof.
The Digital Data Chain Consortium, of which VEGA as a founding member, wants to make documents and data accessible to all by means of a digital-type label.
What looks like a complete system out on the factory floor rarely turns out to be a unified whole when viewed up close: every production system is home to mechanical, electrical, electronic and software components from many different manufacturers.
This represents a complex multiplicity that makes itself especially felt when things are not running smoothly; for example, when a sensor needs to be re-parameterised, a valve sealed or a fuse replaced.
How efficiently a machine – or even an entire system – can be repaired or serviced largely depends on how quickly the necessary data is available.
Do the relevant documents first have to be laboriously searched for in a folder buried under stacks of papers? Is the manual locked away in a dusty cabinet somewhere? Is there a PC database where information on the component in question is stored – hopefully up-to-date – and readily retrievable?
Unambiguous and immediate
According to the Digital Data Chain Consortium, a data solution that promises greater productivity looks quite different. The consortium’s goal is to make all system components clearly identifiable.
“It’s all about having secure and accessible data in the cloud instead of in individual databases”, VEGA product manager Florian Burgert said.
According to Burgert, significant savings are possible when data is available in this way.
“The situation today is that companies often have to integrate legacy data into existing applications,” he said. “Searching for and collecting data can be time-consuming, as it may be scattered around the country or even around the world, or stored on the computers of different manufacturers.”
One goal, all companies
As a manufacturer of level and pressure instrumentation, and founding member of the consortium, VEGA developed the new “DIN SPEC 91406” standard together with well-known process automation companies.
The aim of the proposed standard is to make equipment management easier by using distinct and unambiguous digital-type labels. Users should benefit as much as manufacturers, who can perform faster updates with far less printed material.
The new labelling, which is only recognisable as a QR code on the housing of the device, has everything that might be required, namely all manufacturer information relating to the product. And when required, the data can be called up with any mobile device at any time.
In practical terms, this means traceability extends from production to ordering and delivery, and from installation to the end of the service life of the device.
Traditional barriers between manufacturers – time, place, format and the type of device – can be overcome. Data can flow between partners involved in the supply chain.
If the Digital Data Chain Consortium is successful, the traditional nameplate will soon be a thing of the past. After the changeover, every employee in a company will have the same up-to-date information at their disposal at all times, giving them the ability to make correct, well-founded decisions.
This method of data access includes other options; for example, order management can be optimised, and the stocking of spare parts better planned.
And the required compliance documents would always be available in good time. •
Visit vega.com/en-au to learn more.