The OPC 40301 - 40329 specifications contain OPC UA Companion Specifications of several glass industry sectors and are developed by members of VDMA and/or the OPC Foundation. OPC UA is a machine to machine communication technology to transmit characteristics of products (e.g. manufacturer name, device type or components) and process data (e.g. temperatures, pressures or feed rates). To enable vendor unspecific interoperability the description of product characteristics and process data has to be standardized utilizing technical specifications, the OPC UA companion specifications.Glass industry machinery has a broad range of special application from bottles and tableware to flat glass products for buildings, for window glasses and technology applications such as photovoltaic elements, automotive or display glass (see also chapter 5).

Thus, glass producers as processors are required besides a variety of machinery, a considerable number of specialized manufacturers of such machines. Integrating these machines into an effective production ecosystem requires a considerable amount of interfacing between the machines and equally to production planning and MES software.

Parallel to this challenge the requirements of transparent data transfer between automation layer are a basic demand of the RAMI 4.0 model. In order to allow machinery builders for glass fabricants and processors to evolve into industry 4.0 and simplify integration, a standardization of communication is required. OPC UA is considered to be one of the main languages for standardized communication, however, the variety of possibilities requires confinement to the requirements of the glass industry. A Companion Specification defining information models and exchange methods for the glass industry is an appropriate response to those requirements.

OPC 40301 describes the interface between a flat glass processing/assembling machine and manufacturing execution systems (MES), or enterprise resource planning (ERP) for data exchange.

The target of OPC 40301 is to provide a unique interface for flat glass processing machines, e.g., cutting machines and higher order systems from different manufacturers to ensure compatibility.

The following functionalities are covered:

  • Machine identification, including machine status, information for job planning and machine capability, information on logged-in users;
  • Job handling including job management, job status, calls to deal with jobs