Thomas BurkeNews about further adoption of OPC (www.opcfoundation.org) continued to flow from the recent Hannover Fair (Messe) in Germany. Things had gone dark for a period of time from the Foundation. This has changed over the past couple of weeks as the communication technology picks up momentum.

The Platform Industrie 4.0 (I4.0) announced at Hannover Messe 2015 a reference architecture model for Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0). RAMI 4.0 is a unified architecture model where use-cases, standards etc. for I4.0 are necessary. In RAMI 4.0 I4.0 components are defined in their structure and functioning. Thus it enables cross-company networking and integration across value-added networks. Where meaningful, RAMI 4.0 builds on existing and relevant standards.

The Platform Industrie 4.0 trade organizations BITKOM (IT), VDMA (Mechanical Engineering) and ZVEI (Electronics) together collected and analyzed necessary or relevant standards for RAMI 4.0 in technically oriented working groups. In the category “Communication Layer“ the OPC UA (IEC 62541) standard was thoroughly examined and deemed adequate for RAMI 4.0 as the one and only confirmed.

“Companies like ThyssenKrupp are implementing Industrie 4.0 today. The availability of established communication protocols is mission critical for such a timely implementation, OPC-UA is here the best example,” said Dr Achatz head of technology at ThyssenKrupp AG.

“We are proud the Platform Industrie 4.0 thoroughly analyzed OPC UA in the category “Communication Layer” and confirmed its relevance as the only standard for the reference architecture model for Industrie 4.0,” said Thomas J. Burke, President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation. “This shows that the OPC Foundation is on the right track with our approach of secure, safe, manufacturer- and platform independent communication for heterogeneous systems by means of OPC UA to become a global data exchange standard for Industrie 4.0 and the Internet of Things.”

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