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14.01.2019 How a plant can communicate directly with its documentation system

Aucotec, Hanover, Germany, has over 30 years of experience in developing engineering software for the entire lifecycle of machines, plants and mobile systems. The company reports that ‘Automatic updating of plant documentation’ was one of four application cases presented in November at the main meeting of the international Namur association. This included a workshop on the practical use of Namur Open Architecture (NOA). In a live demonstration with a video connection to the plant, the initiator of the application case, Prof. Dr Christian Diedrich from the Institute for Automation and Communication (ifak) at the Otto von Guericke University, and Aucotec product manager Martin Imbusch, explained how the physical replacement of a transducer is immediately reflected in the plant documentation.

The practical example was developed jointly by ifak, Aucotec and the IGR (Interessengemeinschaft Regelwerke Technik) for the presentation. All four cases were based on the IGR pilot plant in the Industriepark Höchst. 

For the live demonstration, the pilot plant was connected to Aucotec's Azure Cloud via its OPC UA server. Aucotec’s Engineering Base (EB) cooperative platform receives the live data from the plant at certain intervals. Information on the change is then shown at every point in EB's data model where the sensor appears. Everyone involved immediately knows whether there are any consequences and what they are: for example, adjusting the wiring, updating the specification sheets or generating new revision statuses.

The plant automatically reports changes to its as-built status and the documentation always reflects the latest version, with no redlining, no paper and no manual transfers. Maintenance and revamping work is made considerably easier and clearer.

Prof. Dr Christian Diedrich was impressed by the solution: "It brings us a massive step forward. In just a few seconds, the exchange is not only detected, but it can be automatically incorporated into the documentation, meaning it is always kept up-to-date. With file-based systems, this kind of communication with the plant would only be of limited help, as changes can only be implemented for specific sheets."

Prof. Dr Christian Diedrich from the Institute for Automation and Communication at the Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg





























Martin Imbusch, product manager at Aucotec

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