The standardised description language AutomationML (AML) is an important element for Industry 4.0. It enables cross-vendor engineering and efficient engineering processes. These issues were discussed by around 100 participants at the international AutomationML User Conference, which took place at Festo in Esslingen on 18 and 19 October.
At the AML User Conference under the heading ‘Road to Industry 4.0: AutomationML as Digital Enabler’, Festo, together with project partners, presented the AutomationML activities in the field of virtual commissioning and in the OPAK research project.
Simple engineering processes
When it comes to virtual commissioning, the engineering process can be standardised and simplified in future thanks to AML. When planning a facility, for example, design engineers can integrate the digital illustrations of the components into their design software. When it comes to describing components, information about a component can be linked with the corresponding CAD data (including kinematics data) or control programs.
AML interface for vendor-neutral engineering
In the OPAK research project, the project partners developed an AML interface for vendor-neutral engineering. This means that the Festo components can be loaded into the engineering software with their standardised AML description and already contain all the information and functions necessary for their application.
In this way, the design engineer can concentrate on the desired automation process and does not have to deal with abstract commands when it comes to programming control systems.
Festo is involved in several working groups in AutomationML e. V. for the further standardisation and dissemination of the AutomationML format, particularly for developing automation components in the engineering file format.