The team of Ninety-Five has years of experience in the Control & MES domain, and is convinced that a new approach is needed to solve today's needs of manufacturers. Although many companies exist in this field we felt a need for a new company that would allow manufacturing companies to take advantage of modern IT technology for solving practical problems. Process Control with traditional DCS and PLC/SCADA is becoming a commodity market and in the MES/MOM field very little innovation took place over the last 20 years. What was happening is a lot of good visions about how a future plant should look like. Realizing this market is conservative, we still believe visions should be turned into solutions.
As our company name reflects, we are specialized in the upcoming ISA-95 standard, that describes the interface between ERP and MES and is a good basis to build your applications against.
The ISA-95 standard really is an interface standard between level 3 (MES/MOM) and level 4 (ERP). It describes in UML schema's how data needs to be modelled and it provides a structure for the objects you need in manufacturing. The practical implementation of the interface is defined by another non-profit organisation WBF and this standard is known as B2MML (Business to Manufacturing Markup language).
The first step we took in 2007 was to build a centralized Operational Data Store (ODS) providing all ISA-95 objects and models accesible through a web based user interface and web services.
This ODS has been used as the central datastore to build MES/MOM applications. Important is that everything you build should be build towards the ISA-95 models available in the ODS. This means interfaces to existing systems, user interfaces and functional modules only deal with the models.
The ODS can be used on its own and integrated with existing systems or solutions from other vendors. An example is the Cordys Plant Operations Management Solution.
The second step we took was to enhance the ODS with a suite of products to make it easy for users to build functionality. Most of this functionality can be found in any good MES system, but for people that need additional tools we developed the Easy95 Suite, a collection of tools based on Open Source techology. This gives end-users the advantage in price and flexibility.
While level 3 mainly executes based on events in the plant, there is also the realtime level 2 for control. For companies that also need control we have build Control-95. This distributed Process Control System is object oriented and based on Open Source technology.
While process control really deals with what is known in ISA-95 as equipment objects, there is a link between Easy95 and Control-95 based on OPC XML DA.
In cooperation with Natus (Trier, Germany) Control-95, if needed in combination with Easy95, is provided in a total concept including hardware, software, engineering and services under the name Concept-95.
We are constantly working on further innovations in process control and automation and stay open to work with other companies and universities.
Ninety-Five started in 2007 and was interviewed about it's plans during the European Manufacturing Summit 2008 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Please find the interview here.