MES 3.0

What is a Phase

A phase is the lowest level of work effort in a process.  In Sepasoft Batch Procedure, phases are used in recipes as reusable blocks of functionality for any type of manufacturing process. 

There are two main categories of phases: Equipment Phases that map to physical equipment and Non-Equipment Phases that offer functionality.

Phases can be created, configured, exported, and removed in Phase Manager In Recipe Editor, phases are added to define a process with data flows and automation.

How to Organize Phases

This organization of steps


produce_solution, assemble_engineProbably too large
initialize, open_valve, set_timer, close_valve, reset, inspect gasket

Probably too small


Controls must be programmed in the equipment for safety.

Any type of network outage could cause dangerous situations if controls are set
in the application.

Add_h20, Add_Material_A, Heat, Transfer, Assembly Station A Instructions

Probably about right

These steps are considered the smallest work effort in a recipe.

Interfacing Batch Procedure Phases with PLCs

An Equipment Phase is the link between a Unit in the Equipment Production Model and the physical equipment. Phases between the batch system and PLC have a one-to-one mapping. Each phase provides parameters. The parameter mappings are based on standard ISA88 and Sepasoft extended features. You can also add parameters to phases.

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Defaults parameters:

  • ISA88 Standard Parameters

  • Sepasoft Extended Parameters
User-Defined Parameters

Mapping Batch Phase Parameters with PLC Equipment Phase Parameters

Batch Procedure Equipment Phase Structure

        • Default Parameters.
        • User-Defined Parameters can be configured on all phase types.

Exposed set to True provides another set of parameters and creates UDT members for binding to PLCs. Provides ISA88 standards with Sepasoft extended parameters used for mapping in PLI (Phase Logic Interface).

For detailed information, see:

Base Phases

Base Phases are provided in the batch system for two uses: 

  • User Phase: To customize a phase based on a set of functionality, such as a phase designed to allocate a piece of equipment or a phase to capture a signature for authorization. In Phase Manager, you choose a phase as a base. Doing this provides the necessary ISA88 parameters and other parameters based on configuration.

  • Built-In Phase, these commonly used phases are provided in the relevant configuration, such as Unit Class Manager and Batch Recipe Editor without customization. 

Use Phase Manager to create, edit and delete phases.

You cannot delete a phase that is used in recipes or batches.

Base Phases

Provided in Recipe Editor as Built-In Phase




Use this phase to allocate a shared resource. Typically, the shared resource is shared equipment, but it can be used as general locking. The Deallocate Phase should be used to release the shared resource and make it available to other allocation requests.

A shared equipment unit is a Unit defined in the Production Equipment Model with the Shared property set to True. If set to True, then only shared equipment functionality applies.

DeallocateYesUse this phase to release the shared resource and make it available to other allocation requests.



Document Phases provides displaying documents to the end user when the phase is activated. This supports work instructions that include check boxes, entry fields, content driven by tag values, and content driven by a Phase.

Videos can be played by using the HTML5 video element. Unlike images, videos are not embedded directly in the document. This is for two reasons including the size of video files and for best results a video streaming server should be used.

EquipmentNo, only used to create custom user-defined phases

A phase that can connect to equipment controls within the PLC and allow parameter values to flow bidirectionally.

This phase type can also use memory and reference tag types.

E Signature


Use this phase to add authorization challenges to a batch recipe.

Version Specific

E-Signature is supported in 3.81.6 RC 1 and later.

No ActionYes

No-Action Phases are used to do nothing until the following transition evaluates to true.

Evaluates conditions and releases allocations.


The Operation within a Batch ISA88 framework is to provide a standard way of defining and controlling operations within Unit Procedures in batch processes. An Operation element is valid within a Unit Procedure. The phases associated to the Unit Procedure, via a Unit Class, is provided in the palette to be used in the Operation.

See Batch Procedure Framework.


Supports custom Ignition scripts to be run on the Ignition server. Note that client-side scripts are set up in a tag change event.

When the script is run, all input parameters of the Batch, Procedure, Unit Procedure, Operation and Script Phase are passed to the script function as a Python dictionary.

When the script has successfully completed, all values returned by the script, as a Python dictionary, are assigned to the output parameters.

Set ParameterYesThe Set Parameter Phase is used to set any parameter value within a recipe.

Use to synchronize conditions for units when transferring material. Sync_Group with Transfer phases.

Use with the transfer phases.


Consists of a timer that can be used by the recipe. The duration can be specified in Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds or any combination of them. A mode controls the action it must take in the event that the phase goes into the Held state and then is restarted.

All timer phases will retain their current state in the event of a power outage.

Transfer InNo, only used to create custom user-defined phases

Used to transfer materials from a unit with a Transfer Out phase. The Sync_Group parameter is the key for grouping units for material transfer.

Set Value Source to Synchronization Manager on the on the receiving phase within a Sync Group of Synchronize Phases

Use the transfer phases together.

Transfer OutNo, only used to create custom user-defined phases

Used to transfer materials to a unit with a Transfer Out phase. The Sync_Group parameter is the key for grouping units for material transfer.

User MessageYesConfigures a message to display in the Message List.
Value PromptYesProvides the batch operator a prompt to enter a value for a batch run.