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Interfaces

Modern and varied interfaces make Cosmino MES an integration platform for the Industry 4.0

Cosmino MES Plus as an Integration Platform for Machine to Machine Communication (M2M), as Required by the Industry 4.0

Machines, tools, processing units, transportation systems, material supply systems, sensors, meters and systems that control processes such as MES, CAQ and ERP can already communicate with each other completely independently. In contrast to the manual handling of the data in the process, the M2M communication between the systems can take place in real time. This provides possibilities for the process to be controlled with MES.

Standardized data communications with all types of machines

This is possible through standardized interfaces that can be used by several systems and machines. These standards include OPC, OPC UA, MQTT and REST, such as they are frequently used, above all else, in communications with machines. Since many machines and devices are prepared for communication with OPC or OPC UA, this method saves both time and money. A standardized data import by the Cosmino Machine Connector takes place regardless of the type of machine controller (PLC).

If it isn’t possible to access data directly from the PLC due to a lack of PLC interfaces, which is particularly the case for older machines, control-independent sensor systems are used. This communication with Cosmino can take place on a native basis (signal interpretation) or use OPC/OPC UA structures.

We also support CANBUS, analog TCP/IP converters (such as RS232-TCP/IP) and additional protocols to transfer interfaces data to Cosmino MES.

Standard data formats are available for all the above-mentioned interfaces, such as XML, JSON, XLS, CSV, ASCII and https (Webservice). The specific communication via IDocs is also supported for the ERP system SAP. If necessary, the data import can be adapted to other, customer-specific formats.

Standardisierter Datenaustausch mit beliebigen Maschinentypen

Reliable ERP communication for partial completion notifications, order feedback and master data comparisons in real time
The more the MES functionalities are integrated in the production processes, the more important a rapid feedback of the operating data to the ERP system becomes. In the digital factory, the notification to the ERP takes place straight after the production or processing of a component or a batch to ensure that the inventory management stays up-to-date.

Orders and other master data are updated regularly according to the ERP.

Quick and very easy data integration via transactions
For each type of notification initialized via an interface, what is known as a transaction exists, with a clearly defined data structure and function that the Cosmino server can process automatically. This creates clarity for both the sender and recipient regarding the initialized data operation, which might relate to the status change of a machine, a quantity notification or a change of order, for example. Work-flow steps can also be initialized by Transactions.

Through the use of transactions, machines or software systems are able to send data for further processing to Cosmino MES Plus without the need to create customer-specific interfaces on the MES side. This allows the customers of COSMINO AG to roll out the software completely independently in other areas of production.

With the above-mentioned interfaces, Cosmino MES Plus can also call up transactions and functional modules in other systems and report data back to them. In such cases, the technical communication via REST is used the most frequently. Transactions, such as “Archive a document”, occur when REST contacts another system, an archiving system, for example, during which the XML representation of the document is stated. The transaction initiated in the archiving system receives the XML document, imports and indexes it according to either key term or full text, and finally saves it in the archive system. Another transaction – “Give me an archived document” – allows the return of a document to be initiated stating a search term.

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Data transfers via databases and directories
Cosmino MES Plus also supports traditional transfers via database tables, views, or file directories as the place of exchange. Different data formats, such as the above-mentioned XML, ASCII, etc., can also be used with these processes.

Validation of each individual data transfer
The success of each data transfer with Cosmino MES Plus is monitored. In the case of an error, a central service at Cosmino Software sends an e-mail to the person responsible for the interface.

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High-availability communication with systems using Message-Oriented Middleware (MOM)
As a key controlling component in the production, the MES not only exchanges information with machines and the ERP system, but also does so with numerous other IT components and systems. In the “Internet of Things”, the MES operates as a data hub between all the connected systems, which are communicated with on a uni- or bidirectional basis.

Communication with MOM

In this respect, modern architectures mean certain data records don’t have to be retained by the MES at all, but can be accepted by another source and forwarded or only displayed temporarily. In this case, the retention and interpretation of the data take place elsewhere. So that all the systems integrated in the IT infrastructure are always available both mutually and through the MES, it is necessary for all these systems to be effectively networked with each other.

For this purpose, stand today, a MOM (Message-Oriented Middleware) currently offers the greatest possible flexibility. MOM is an application-neutral, intermediate application for the transfer of messages.

Each MOM typically features message channels (queues) for the buffering (intermediate storage) of data objects, which means a separate MOM queue is available for each type of message.

One system, such as Cosmino MES Plus or the ERP, transfers data objects to the MOM and/or to the queue. Another system that is permitted to access a queue then receives the data objects according to the “First In, First Out” (FIFO) principle. The transfer mechanism generally transfers the data objects without semantics, so the reading system is required to know the associated type of data format.

Benefits

• An initial advantage of a MOM is that different systems are able to access it, which means the systems are therefore networked with each other without the need to have direct interfaces with one another.

• Thanks to the “First In, First Out” principle, the different processing speeds of systems (such as a lack of real-time or overnight shutdowns) do not pose any problem either. Even if one system is unavailable, the other systems are still able to receive data from the MOM or to transfer it there.

• This fail-safety is further enhanced by a local queue. This way, the server of a software can submit data records to a local queue even if the connection to the central MOM is inactive. This is helpful if data is to be transferred in real-time but the client is either inaccessible or only accessible at a later point in time. In this case, the server must still be able to submit the data, as it may already be required to accept the next data record.

• A further advantage of MOM is that systems can register for a queue (known as the Publish-Subscriber principle) and receive information on an event-driven basis. The “polling”, the cyclical status request, is no longer necessary, which relieves the burden on the network.

Easy exchange of data also with CAQ system as well as testing and measuring machines
Cosmino also has comprehensive control planning – inspection orders can also be received from CAQ systems, however. The measured values and defect types logged by Cosmino are subsequently returned to the CAQ system via the CAQ interface, where they can be processed further.

The logged quality data can also be sent to qs-STAT or minitab for the completion of long-term calculations.

In addition, Cosmino ProControl can import inspection results automatically from different meters (SPC subsystems, 3D coordinate measuring machines, automatic measuring machines) into the standardized test results database.

If the data to be imported contains sufficient information (such as the dimensions, characteristic name/no., etc.), with the information from the meter, inspection plans and inspection orders can also be created in Cosmino ProControl.

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