The Weihenstephan Standards in detail

Today’s food and beverage manufacturers are particularly challenged to offer high-quality products at market-driven prices. In this context, they are dealing with the conflicting demands of their own profitability and a high level of responsibility towards consumers and legislators. In order to remain competitive, they are dependent on effective information technology support from various IT systems, such as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

For this purpose, the exchange of data between machines and higher-level IT systems, but also between machines (M2M), is becoming increasingly important. However, especially in heterogeneous production lines with different machine suppliers or a multitude of relevant IT systems, the complexity increases.

The Weihenstephan standards help you here by providing a standardized interface with

The Weihenstephan Standards are discussed and decided independently and pre-competitively in the WS industry user group. The Chair of Brewing and Beverage Technology of the Technical University of Munich accompanies the WS from an academic point of view.

The WS domains

One of the strengths of the Weihenstephan standards is the consideration of individual domains within the food and packaging industry and the consideration of domain-specific requirements. Currently, four different WS Domänen are available, WS Sweets is still under development.

The current WS version

The current version of the Weihenstephan standards is WS.10. The Document structure provides an overview of all currently valid documents and tools including the revision numbers.

Definition of the communication interface

In the Weihenstephan standards, the two communication standards WS OCP UA and WS Protocol are available for the transmission of WS data points. Both communication interfaces define the form in which the data are structured and transmitted.

For communication in an Industry 4.0 environment, the Weihenstephan Standard rely on OPC UA. Since version 10 of the Weihenstephan Standards, WS OPC UA is available. Compared to WS Protocol, this offers advantages in the self-description of data, among other things.

Still, WS Protocol, a proprietary ICP/IP protocol, is also available.

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Definition of WS data points

In the Weihenstephan standards, more than 440 practice-relevant WS data points are defined, which were developed together with the members of the WS Industrial User Group. All WS data points are clearly defined, so all project partners have a common understanding of the data points to be exchanged. This considerably reduces the bilateral coordination necessary in the project planning phase. All properties that fully define a WS data point are listed below.




WS BrowseName

Is used to uniquely identify a WS data point. In OPC UA this corresponds to the BrowseName.


WS DisplayName

Serves the short description of a WS data point and can be displayed in different languages. In OPC UA this corresponds to the DisplayName.

EN: Current Machine Speed
DE: Momentane Maschinenausbringung

WS Category

The WS data points are divided into different categories

Measured values

WS TagNumber

Used to uniquely identify a WS data point in the WS protocol. In WS OPC UA the WS TagNumber can be added optionally.



Used to fully describe the content of a WS data point and can be displayed in different languages.

EN: This data point gives the current machine speed in primary packages or volume per minute or pieces or mass per hour.

Access Permission

Access rights of a client to a WS data point.

Read only

WS OPC UA Type Definition/ WS OPC UA Data Type

Type definition/ data type used for a WS data point in WS OPC UA.


WS Protocol Data Type

The data type used for a WS data point in WS Protocol.


Base Quantity/ Engineering Unit

Informs about the base quantity of the WS datapoint or explicitly specifies the engineering unit to be used.

Base Quantity: Output/
Recommendations: „packages per minute“ „bottles per hour“

Vendor specific data points

The Weihenstephan Standards are designed to allow manufacturers to create their own data points that go beyond the Weihenstephan Standards. These data points are defined like the WS data points and follow the same rules. For this purpose, manufacturers can register their own prefix or namespace.

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Definition of WS Machines and WS Machine Profiles

More than 150 different machines are described in the Weihenstephan standards. The machine profiles are defined in domain-specific permutation tables. This shows which WS machines have to provide which WS DataPoints (Mandatory) or can provide them optionally (Optional).
Examples for machines and machine profiles of the domain WS Pack can be found at WS Modeler.

Partners of the WS Industrial User Group

Evaluation recommendations

The Weihenstephan standards provide domain-specific recommendations for the evaluation of machine and process data. Examples are given to show how WS data points can be used to enable MES or IT functionalities, such as:

  • Calculation of efficiency indicators
  • Material management
  • Process visualization
  • Production control
  • Batch and article tracking
  • Material management
  • Quality assurance
  • Creation of production reports
Dashboard of the ChoConnect project.