Typically in a manufacturing world plants optimize their control systems to maximize production and profits. Manufacturing companies must also be efficient at coordinating and controlling personnel, materials, and equipment across different control systems in order to reach their maximum potential. This coordination and control must occur in at least four different parts of an organization; production, quality tests and test labs, warehousing and inventory management, and maintenance.

This coordination and control is often supported by Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) for management of production operations, Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) for quality tests and test lab management, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) or Tank Farm Management systems for management of inventory operations, and Asset Management or Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) for maintenance operations. These systems together are collectively called Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) systems. MOM defines a diverse set of functions that operate above automation control systems, reside below the level of enterprise business systems and are local to a site or area.

ISA-95 was created to allow efficient sharing and coordination of information between the various levels. The following subsections summarize the information that needs to be exchanged.

Sharing Material Information: Manufacturing requires materials. It is not surprising that manufacturing systems have a requirement to identify and track materials because the main purpose of manufacturing is to convert materials in one form into materials of another form. An important part of MOM integration is maintaining and exchanging material identification and information.

  1. MES identify materials and their suitability for use, batch management systems confirm that the correct materials are used as specified in the recipes,
  2. Tracking and tracing systems (bar-code scanners and RFID readers),
  3. LIMS confirm that the correct materials are tested and the correct materials are used in testing,
  4. WMS identify materials in their storage locations.
  5. Shared material information can be divided into three main categories;
  • material class information identifies the materials without regard to the source of the material,
  • material definition information identifies material from specific vendors or sources,
  • material lot information identifies actual material, its location and quantity.
  • Sharing Equipment Information: One important element of managed information is the correct identification of the equipment used for manufacturing. Equipment identification is used for:

    • scheduling,
    • tracking and tracing,
    • maintenance,
    • troubleshooting,
    • visualization (HMI),
    • capacity tracking,
    • OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) calculations.

    Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a manufacturing company to have multiple identifications for a single piece of equipment. Therefore, a critical aspect of equipment information management is managing different equipment ID’s across multiple vendor systems and applications.

    Sharing Physical Asset Information: Identification of a unique physical asset, irrespective of the role the equipment is performing is vital for:

    • maintenance,
    • equipment qualification and regulatory compliance,
    • financial asset tracking

    While equipment is typically identified by a tag, such as TT-101 for a temperature transmitter, that identifies the role, or current function, of a specific asset physical asset information this is not sufficient for tracking individual assets for maintenance and financial purposes. To manage assets a company must have a unique identifier for the physical asset that is independent of the role it serves at a specific point in time. For example temperature transmitter TT-101 may have a serial number of X2 on a specific day, the next day the transmitter may be swapped out with a replacement transmitter with the same specifications but with the serial number X3. X3 would then be configured to have the tag TT-101 and X2 would no longer be known as TT-101. In order to track the transmitters X2 and X3 the physical asset information model would be used, while for operations purposes it is only important that TT-101 is in use and providing a temperature reading, the operators and control systems do not generally need to know the asset tag of TT-101, they just need the tag.

    Tracking of individual physical assets allows companies to monitor individual asset’s health records, ensure they are qualified for production and track them in financial systems.

    Sharing Personnel Information: Multiple regulatory rules, laws, and internal procedures require that personnel who perform shop floor actions are unequivocally identified, are authorized to perform the actions, and have valid training or qualifications to perform the actions. Because personnel information is usually maintained in multiple IT systems and control systems, it is a key area of exchanged information. Specific uses in different systems that require coordination and sharing include:

    • MES Personnel qualification to be checked before someone is allowed to take an action
    • LIMS Identification of approved personnel to perform tests and handle materials, often based on their training qualifications,
    • AM Certification information about personnel performing maintenance activities to ensure that they have the proper training required by the activity,
    • WMS Certification that personnel are trained and qualified to handle material movement systems, such as fork trucks or crane systems.