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Real-Time Vertical Integration a Reality with OPC

By deploying standards such as OPC and ISA 95 in its ECS Enterprise Connectivity Solutions, ABB helps frozen food producer Dafgård reap the benefits of integrated plant and enterprise business systems.

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In the process industries, OPC provides open connectivity through a series of specifications based on open standards. OPC’s open communication architecture, focused on data access, provides information in a consistent manner to a variety of plant floor and business applications. ABB’s Industrial ECS Enterprise Connectivity Solutions utilize OPC DA technology for real-time vertical integration between the plant and enterprise business systems.

Gunnar Dafgård AB is a major producer of frozen food based in Källby, Sweden. The company, which is Sweden’s largest family business in the food sector, manufactures and distributes frozen and chilled products to food services and retail outlets in Sweden and beyond.

At Dafgård, ABB has implemented an ECS Enterprise Connectivity Solutions link between the SAP business system and ABB’s System 800xA Batch Management. ECS Enterprise Connectivity Solutions are built to the latest plant-to-business ISA 95 standards. They provide an open and flexible way of building and extending the functionality as required, while lowering the cost of system engineering. This solution, based on international standards and certified by SAP at the SAP facilities in Waldorf, Germany, provides sustainable connectivity well into the future.

“ECS-based connectivity offers Dafgård many benefits,” said Anders Dafgård, Chief Technical Officer of Gunnar Dafgård AB. “By providing seamless connection between DCS [distributed control systems] and SAP systems at Dafgård, ABB’s ECS shortened order-to-cash cycle, lowered the cost of inventory for finished goods and allowed immediate transportation planning. In addition, information about produced products and consumption per ingredient is available in SAP as soon as the product is produced, which provides instant knowledge of inventory levels. This is the base for schedule and production planning optimization and for lowering the cost of inventory on the supply side, by ordering what is needed based on actual levels.”

“As a very modern and successful company, following its vision to be one of the best family businesses in the food trade in Europe by continual development of products and technology, Dafgård was one of the leading companies to recognize the need for connectivity between the business system and the shop floor,” said Tatjana Milenovic, the ABB professional responsible for deployment of ECS Enterprise Connectivity Solutions. “Together with state-of-the-art control technology, it was very important for Dafgård to have a flexible, extensible integration of their control system with their SAP system, to improve their productivity and flexibility to customer orders,” continued Milenovic.

ABB has been providing connections between control systems and SAP systems for many years, but is now focusing on using ECS Enterprise Connectivity Solutions throughout its offerings to provide a simple, standard interface for this integration. “ABB can now provide its customers with an open, flexible Connectivity package using today’s international standards such as OPC and ISA 95, providing interfaces to ABB’s and third-party control technology on the one hand, and ERP systems or other advanced applications on the other,” says Teemu Tunkelo, Group Senior Vice President at ABB’s Process Automation Division.

ABB provides a comprehensive range of control system products and solutions that enable utility and industry customers to improve their overall productivity. To find out more, visit

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