Software Standards to Converge

The Open Applications Group (OAGi, www.openapplications.org) and the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society’s (www.isa.org) ISA-SP95 committee have announced their intent to converge standards for manufacturing interoperability.

The effort was launched in support of the Open O&M Initiative (www.mimosa.org), a trade group that develops and encourages adoption of open standards for operations and maintenance.

OAGi and SP95 are collaborating on development of integration standards for process, discrete and mixed-mode manufacturers. SP95 has started this effort by including a portion of the OAGIS standard (for Open Applications Group Integration Specification) in its soon-to-be-published ANSI/ISA-95 Part 5-Business to Manufacturing Transactions standard.

“Many enterprises today are struggling with the myriad of standards available to them and often don’t know which standards they should be using,” said David Connelly, chief executive officer of the Open Applications Group. “Many of our OAGIS users are using both ISA-95 and OAGIS, and we want to cooperate in order to simplify their efforts and provide our customers with a common solution.”

“We don’t think it makes sense to re-invent work that others have completed and proven in the field,” said Keith Unger, chairman of the SP95 committee. “We want to leverage our best contributors from both efforts and provide a better standard for our customers. Delivery of the ISA-95 Part 4 “Object Models and Attributes of Manufacturing Operations Management” standard will be greatly accelerated by leveraging the work of OAGi, and the other OpenO&M Initiative members.”

Bob Mick, a vice president at Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group Inc., commented: “Interoperability in the plant to business (P2B) domain has been underserved for years with only ISA and OAGi addressing the standard needed to take this issue off the table. Only a small fraction of the work has been done and an alignment between these two organizations is one of the most significant events to happen in this area. The alignment of ISA-95 part 5 with OAGIS has been a pilot and has proven that alignment can accelerate the standards development process.”

The details and timing of the convergence efforts are under discussion now and more details will be announced as they are developed.

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