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SPS 2023: Interdisciplinary Data Integration

Automation is experiencing unstoppable progress and is being reinforced by innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence. COPA-DATA will present cross-disciplinary application examples of the zenon software platform for production, infrastructure, and the pharmaceutical process industry at Smart Production Solutions in Nuremberg from November 14-16.

Digitalization opens up immense potential for smart production environments. Companies are increasingly recognizing the opportunities it presents. However, they also face the challenge of using data in more than just limited, local contexts - for example, to monitor and control production facilities. To make informed decisions, they need to bring together data from different disciplines. 


Simple orchestration with MTP standard and zenon POL

In production structures that have evolved over time, old and new systems from different manufacturers often operate in parallel. The seamless and effective integration of a heterogeneous production landscape into new projects is a complex task. At the same time, companies should be able to exploit the full potential of the IoT. 


In this context, the cross-industry and cross-vendor MTP standard helps to orchestrate data from different disciplines without requiring further programming effort. In modular production, complex processes can be divided into many small sections and standardized. Logically interconnected, the individual modules can be combined again and again in new and interdisciplinary ways (plug & produce). Therefore, MTP is used in a wide range of industries, including chemical and pharmaceutical process technology, food & beverage, shipbuilding, and even electrolysis. 


In Nuremberg, COPA-DATA presents the application possibilities of zenon POL (Process Orchestration Layer) for controlling individual modules in the process industry - a decisive step for the flexible design of plants. With the zenon IIoT services (formerly zenon Service Grid), a simple and secure integration of third-party components succeeds, allowing data to be stored centrally and in real time. Additionally, zenon HMI, BDE, and SCADA solutions for control functions guarantee easy operability. Therefore, nothing stands in the way of rapid customization according to customer requirements or the production of small batches.

DCS+ for efficiency and safety in process control 

The process control system DCS+ (Decentralized Control System) complements COPA-DATA's portfolio on the PLC and enables the control of process plants in batch as well as continuous mode. The "plus" in the name symbolizes the added value compared to conventional DCS offerings by dividing process-related components into decentralized units, which are ideal for the MTP standard. Unlike centralized systems, each section has its own controllers that operate autonomously and are connected via a high-speed communications network. With vendor independence in hardware components and operating systems, as well as virtualized environments, this reduces time-to-market and investment costs. 

A key to sustainability 

As an innovative solution, zenon makes a significant contribution to achieving companies' sustainability goals. The integration of data from different disciplines into a networked "single source of truth", viewable on clear dashboards, enables valuable insights. For example, it provides insights into the energy consumption in the production of parts, which can even be broken down to the unit price. This enables targeted optimization of resource use in the overall system in accordance with ISO 50001. 


At the same time, battery energy storage systems (BESS) are becoming increasingly important for energy supply. Their integration into power grids requires monitoring and control capabilities. With zenon, COPA-DATA offers a simple solution that enables the seamless integration of BESS into the energy infrastructure and optimizes the use of renewable energy sources. 


Sector coupling also supports sustainable and efficient energy use, thanks to technologies such as zenon, which play a crucial role in the energy transition. As a member of the PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation e.V., COPA-DATA will also present the zenon MTP Suite at the PI joint booth in Hall 5, Booth 210. 

SPS 2023