The networking of plants and production machines with each other and with higher-level IT systems is a prerequisite for the realization of digitalized production control and corporate management. The Weihenstephan Standards (WS) simplify this networking by providing vendor-independent specifications for the uniform communication interface based on the client-server model.


WS OPC UA was published in 2021 as an alternative to WS Protokoll that meets the requirements of a modern IoT environment. WS OPC UA is based on the platform-independent, service-oriented architecture OPC UA from the OPC Foundation.

OPC UA is an information-centric layered architecture with the following core properties:

Thus OPC UA is much more than just a protocol

  • Secure
  • Platform-independent
  • Scalable
  • Vendor interoperable
  • Object oriented
  • Comprehensive information modeling

OPC UA is much more than just a protocol!

Companion Specification OPC UA for Weihenstephan Standards

For WS OPC UA the Companion Specification (CS) OPC UA for Weihenstephan Standards was developed within a Joint Working Group (JWG). The project was significantly worked on by the Smart Production System research group at the Chair of Brewing and Beverage Technology of the Technical University of Munich and the Fraunhofer Institute for Foundry, Composite and Processing Technology. The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) supported the project.

The Companion Specification OPC UA for Weihenstephan Standards (40600) can be found here. The CS is also available as VDMA standard sheet 40600 here.

The layer model for WS OPC UA

The Weihenstephan Standards Information Model is used to describe the instance of a machine profile within a WS Domain. Currently, a total of over 150 different machine profiles are defined in all WS domains. To reduce the resulting complexity, the Companion Specification (CS) describes a generic metamodel for all WS machine profiles. The metamodel is based on the CS OPC UA for Machinery and PackML. Which WS Machine Profile ultimately contains which WS Data Points and how they are defined is specified in the WS Templates, which are not part of the CS. The domain-specific WS Templates are part of the WS WS Modeler.

In this way, the Weihenstephan Standards can be applied to other domains in the future without changing the underlying metamodel. Modeling tools such as WS Modeler support the creation of WS information models based on the instances of concrete machines.

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