I am working with a customer streamline their integration requirements. Its a job shop, with lots of CNC machines, laser markers, inspection tools, and we are looking at PackML standards to see if they can be applied for integrating non-packaging machines as well. That would help as we can start creating supervisory programs to control the flow of parts, and convert signals from above mentioned machines to PackML states. Each machine could become PackML unit/equipment.
We are looking to add Robots, AGVs, so suddenly the machines are required to talk to each other, and its becoming a wild-west with each vendor bringing their own software and standards. Newer systems talk on REST api, while PLCs do not understand that directly, and we are trying to bring it all together but not restrict it to a vendor specific control system.
My question is in two parts:
1. Are there any other standards which can be translated to factory automation, focused on machining?
2. Which software would you recommend to build the line integration logic? I have used Rockwell PLCs in past, and I like RAPID library, but looking for more options cause customer is looking to avoid Rockwell and Siemens for cost concerns, and I am looking to avoid creating custom C# application for this line integration parts.