OPC Technology is essential in industrial automation, and today, a recommended standard for Industry 4.0. This progressive interoperability is adopted by many industries to provide client/server technology. Ti2 Australia, with a track record of over 20 years of experience in OPC technology, recommends Softing Industrial as a partner of choice.
Softing offers a complete set of OPC Classic and OPC Unified Architecture development tools and end-user products. These provide a comprehensive set of functionality for implementing state-of-the-art data exchange solutions addressing all individual connectivity issues.
The technology consists of an excellent range of OPC products including OPC Servers, OPC tools, OPC Toolkits, Testing Tools, etc.
On May 24th, 2022, the OPC foundation along with PROFIBUS & PROFINET International and AIM (AIM-D e.V.) announced the joint forces of a working group to develop a new OPC UA Companion Specification “Global Positioning”.
According to the OPC Foundation, the dynamics in production and logistics today are moving rapidly including products, robots, autonomous vehicles, and humans in between. To ensure a smooth production flow in such a mobile environment, machines and software systems need a common understanding of the positions of things in space.
“Interoperability is not only necessary between manufacturers, but also between standards,” says Dr. Matthias Jöst – Committee Leader for omlox – within PI. “In particular in the exchange between different communities, many synergies and new potentials arise.”
Leading IoT vendors have been adopting OPC UA technology for edge-to-cloud applications including Siemens, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP. OPC now provides for over 850 vendor members and counting.
By leveraging standardised data exchange, healthcare, automotive, energy, and many other companies and manufacturers are holding the key to secure production-system interoperability across OT and IT networks.
Using Information Models (IM) and services for production systems, OPC UA’s standardised method of defining and discovering semantic information sharing is the best alternative today to prevent vendor lock-in and costly custom programming for non-standard IM (cloud).
UA Cloud library is now globally available to all cloud applications. Live data on-demand for clients and servers.
In addition to those benefits, OPC UA is transport agnostic, IEC standard, supporting client/server (ex. TCP, WebSockets) and publish/subscribe (ex. Over UDP or MQTT), meeting different industry demands and requirements from production to edge and cloud.
IT/OT companies have given their review of the OPC UA on their development roadmap, sourced from the OPC Foundation:
Sanat Joshi, Managing Director, Manufacturing Industry Solutions, AWS:
“AWS understands the complexity of industrial data connectivity and the challenges manufacturers and industrial customers face implementing IIoT and Industry 4.0 applications. This is why AWS has a portfolio of services that extend cloud functionality into industrial operations to provide industrial edge capability. With AWS IoT Greengrass and SiteWise connecter, manufacturers can securely ingest OPC UA-based data onto AWS with open data access for real-time visualisation, analytics, and machine learning to drive operational efficiencies, innovation, scalability, and agility.”
Sven Goldstein, Product manager Connectivity, BECKHOFF:
”Beckhoff is the first automation vendor to support OPC UA Pub/Sub using both UDP and MQTT. The requirement to connect industrial assets in a secured and standardised format to the cloud is of utmost importance and an emerging topic in all industry sectors. With its PC-based control architecture, Beckhoff can easily adapt new communication technologies to enable machine builders to connect their assets directly to the cloud.”
Charlie Sheridan, Global Technical Directory Manufacturing, Automotive & Energy – Google Cloud:
“Google Cloud is committed to openness and industry collaboration. By contributing to and leveraging the OPC UA Cloud Library, we can enable “cloud-based” access to OPC UA information models for our customers and partners. OPC UA will be our way of incorporating machine data into our data analytics and AI capabilities, to ultimately deliver on the promise of accessible data and easy-to-use AI across factories.”
Ulas Cubuk, IBM App Connect for Manufacturing Product Manager, IBM:
“IBM has a long-running partnership with OPC Foundation. OPC Foundation’s dedication to ensuring interoperability in automation was the number one choice for this partnership. We had a long journey in helping our customers to build patterns to publicise OPC UA messages via MQTT. Now we want to step up this game by adapting the OPC UA PubSub specification.”
Erich Barnstedt, Chief Architect Standards & Consortia, Azure IoT, Microsoft Corporation:
“Microsoft was the first vendor to support OPC UA PubSub over MQTT when we launched Microsoft OPC Publisher in 2016. Additionally, Microsoft has been working with the OPC Foundation on the OPC UA PubSub specification since the beginning.”
Claudius Link, Senior Vice President Engineering Manufacturing and Industrial IoT at SAP SE:
“SAP welcomes the evolution of standards to solve issues in the customer’s reality – today, hybrid cloud and edge computing solutions are becoming the norm and the basis for many customers to accelerate their digital transformation. As a member of the OPC Foundation, SAP is committed to simplifying the integration of industrial and business operations, based on open communication patterns as defined by the OPC Foundation.”
Melanie Ruhe, Head of Global Product Management MindSphere:
“Siemens Mindsphere is fully committed to OPC UA with its powerful data modelling capabilities and rich platform services to effortlessly connect shopfloor devices.”
Ti2 is currently very focused on working with its global partners to secure stock and avoid long delay times in delivering products to their customers. Together with our trusted partners, we are here to provide solutions.
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Article inspired from Siemens, RTAutomation, OPC Foundation, Ti2, Softings industrial