Interoperability And Standardization Drive OPC Foundation Activity in 2016

Interoperability, standardization, and collaboration were the key words for OPC Foundation in 2016. Tom Burke, OPC Foundation President, recently recapped a busy 2016 for the Foundation. Adoption of OPC UA has been gaining momentum in the market. Collaboration with other groups is growing. And the technology is finally beginning to show significant use beyond industrial automation.

Burke says, “It has been a very exciting year. We have seen record growth in adoption of the OPC UA technology across multiple domains and vertical markets. The OPC Foundation policy of being truly open has expanded the reach of the OPC technology. The specifications are available to everyone, the technology is open sourced, and now we have opened up our certification labs to non-members.”

The OPC Foundation byline since the beginning has been recognized as the “The Interoperability Standard for Industrial Automation.” With the significant international membership growth and adoption of the OPC UA technology across multiple vertical markets the byline of the OPC Foundation has been ratified as “The Industrial Interoperability Standard.” This byline recognizes the case that OPC is no longer just for automation.

OPC UA specifications and technology are actively being deployed across global boundaries supplying the key infrastructure for everything related to the Internet of Everything (IIoT, Industrie 4.0, China 2025, IIC, M2M…); inclusive of:

  • numerous testbeds with the OPC UA technology being standardized in the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)
  • being recognized as the communication and information modeling standard for Industrie 4.0
  • OPC UA being finalized as a Chinese National Standard

In May 2016, BSI (German Federal Office for Information Security) conducted a thorough security analysis of OPC UA and found it exceeded the security requirements for Industrie 4.0.

Collaboration with numerous organizations beyond industrial automation is the strategy and path forward to allow information integration from the embedded world to the cloud.

New members and new products are emerging as end users are looking for information solutions for IIoT, and the OPC UA technology is well-positioned to address the needs of the Internet of Everything.

Numerous organizations continue to partner with the OPC Foundation and/or develop companion specifications for their respective information models to seamlessly plug into OPC UA.

Organizations announcing releases of their companion specifications in 2016 for the OPC UA technology included:
• AutomationML
• PLCopen
• AIM
• VDMA: Injection Molding (status: release candidate)
• VDMA: Vision Cameras (status: in foundation)
• VDMA: Robotics, starting with the help of KUKA (status: in preparation)

VDMA is very active standardizing on OPC UA information models and expects to rollout a multitude of additional information models in 2017, leveraging OPC UA information integration communication as it’s strategy for seamless information integration and interoperability.

Board of Directors

Board members are elected as individuals for a two-year term. Elected to new 2-year terms were: Russ Agrusa, (ICONICS), Veronika Schmid-Lutz (SAP), Stefan Hoppe (Beckhoff) (also VP of OPC Foundation), and Matthias Damm (Ascolab). Also on the OPC Foundation Board of Directors are Thomas Burke (OPC Foundation), Thomas Hahn (Siemens) (also VP of OPC Foundation), Matt Vasey (Microsoft), and Ziad Kaakani (Honeywell) (also Treasurer of OPC Foundation), and Shinji Oda (Yokogawa).

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