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What is Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS)

businessmeeting26246912.jpgThe Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS) is the current worldwide standard that defines the ways in which control information is transferred among intelligent devices and systems such as computers and robots for messaging system functionality. Manufacturing Message Specification deals with the process of sending data and control information between networks or between computer applications that are all part of a common network. The implementation of this international standard is what allows different computer systems and networks to communicate with each other to transfer information orderly as well as in real time fashion.

The messaging services provided by MMS are generic enough to be appropriate for a wide variety of devices, applications, and industries. For instance, the manufacturing message specification read service allows an application or device to read a variable from another application or device. Whether the device is a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) or a robot, the MMS services and messages are identical. Similarly, applications as diverse as material handling, fault annunciation, energy management, electrical power distribution control, inventory control, and deep space antenna positioning in industries as varied as automotive, aerospace, petro-chemical, electric utility, office machinery, and space exploration have put MMS to useful work.

The design of Manufacturing Message Specification in the 1990's was a great step in optimizing automated manufacturing and industrial processes. The manufacturing message specification is vendor-neutral and operates independently of the application function being performed. It has been revised since its release, to include communication among programmable devices and systems of all kinds, due to the evolution of technology and the increase in systems becoming more powerful and capable of larger amounts of data. The underlying sets of standards have continued to provide the foundation for the effective messaging system operation as it related to moving and processing data. The Manufacturing Message Specification also specific how various devices should operate when specific messages are received.

The manufacturing message specification is made of three essential sets of standards. The three sets are referred to as standard objects, standard messages, and encoding rules.Each set of standards addresses the particular aspects of the communication and data flow from one network to another.

The set of standard objects encompasses key operations, which must exist in every device, such as reading, writing, and the execution of event signaling between the point of origin and the point of termination. The Virtual manufacturing device (VMD) is the main object and all other objects such as the variables, domains, journals and files come under VMD. All secondary objects function with and through the virtual manufacturing device.

The second of the three sets of standards functions with the perimeters of the manufacturing Message Specification is standard messages. The standard messages incorporate the data that is exchanged between the client and the server stations. Monitoring and controlling the standard objects is the purpose of the standard messages.

The encoding rules are the final set of standards.This set is vital within the workings of the Manufacturing Message Specification as it handles the task of mapping messages that are sent and received to bits and bytes during the process of transmission. This encoding, or conversation between the systems, helps to preserve the integrity of the data during the transfer and also helps to allow the data to be converted back to standard messages upon its reception.

Manufacturing message specification provides benefits by lowering the cost of building and using automated systems. MMS is appropriate for applications that require a common communications mechanism for performing a diversity of communications functions related to real-time access and distribution of process data and supervisory control.The manufacturing message specification can contribute to cost savings in three main areas of a company, interoperability, independence, and access.

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