A number of the iTAC.MES.Suite functions are available via an Application Programming Interface (API) for separate applications and integration in other system environments.
The production equipment from different machine and plant manufacturers is connected via the respective API functions. The basic functionality of the iTAC.MES.Suite together with the possibilities given by the API functions allow mapping of specific processes within a production machine/production line.
A characteristic of the API is that it is documented, open and downward compatible for the supported releases of the iTAC.MES.Suite. This means, in practice, that external programs, which have been developed especially for a particular version of the API of the iTAC.MES.Suite, will also run on later versions. At the same time, each new release contains new API functions, without negatively influencing the existing ones.
As the API functions are all defined in IDL, they are
independent of any specific operating systems, hardware, programming languages
etc. Communication with theAPIserveris possible viaanIHAPconnectionusingJavaandtheiTAC.ARTESlibrary. iTAC also offers a portfolio of libraries for
application programmers with which machine interfaces are easily deployed, e.g.
for C/C++, and .NET among others. All the benefits of the iTAC.ARTES library
are made available (“Load Balancing“, “Failover“ etc.) while at the same time
simplifying access to the API-interfaces.
Technically, the bi-directional API functions enable direct data flow from the MES system to the shop floor, which guarantees process interlocking, setup verification, lot tracking, product data transfer and a number of other functions. The iTAC API service technology convinces with the advantages listed above and an extremely narrow communication band, which requires just a few milliseconds and does not burden the “corporate network“.
The following application-specific standard interfaces can be characterized on the basis of the [API] service:
The PLC connector serves the direct communication between the different PLC systems. Various mechanisms are used depending on the system, via OPC to a number of PLC systems or, e.g. specifically for communication with the “Beckhoff-PLC system“, with the aid of an ”ADS protocol“. The iTAC PLC connector has been certified by the OPC Foundation and thus guarantees adherence to the OPC standards.
The function portfolio for SMT-specific API functions guarantees the standardized and scalable integration of different types of machines from different manufacturers. The framework of the SMT service enables the connection or integration of SMT machines depending on the requirements of the customer.
The iTAC.MES.Suite provides a wide range of standard interfaces for the custom integration of production equipment. This is because, particularly with older machines, direct communication to MES software is either not possible or not necessary.
The interfaces that are used are based on a framework which has been designed to read data from various sources with the help of system-specific parsers. This data is transferred to the iTAC.MES.Suite via standard API functions. The flexibility of the framework provides the conditions for fast and inexpensive integration of production and testing equipment.