A new interface standard for the acquisition of energy consumption data in industrial manufacturing is being developed by ODVA, OPC Foundation, PI, and VDMA based on OPC UA as announced at Hannover 2022.

A key objective of the future mechanical and plant engineering sectors is to achieve climate-neutral production. This is backed up by the European Union’s “European Green Deal”, which aims to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. To achieve this goal, and to implement many other use cases, energy consumption data in production is an important prerequisite.

ODVA, OPC Foundation, PI, and VDMA founded the “Power Consumption Management” group in May 2022. In this group, the OPC UA interface standard for energy consumption data is being developed. Karsten Schneider, Chairman of PI, is looking forward to cooperation with the ODVA, the OPC Foundation, and VDMA: “The acquisition and analysis of energy consumption in machines and plants is an immensely important topic for the future.”

“The four organizations are working at full speed to harmonize and standardize energy consumption information on the shop floor,” says Andreas Faath, head of VDMA Machine Information Interoperability Department. “With this, a crucial building block, supporting the goal of global climate-neutral production in all sectors of the machinery and plant engineering industry, is under development.”

“Rapid transition to environmentally-sustainable energy use is the greatest challenge of our time and, as such, I am glad that we are proceeding together: PI and ODVA contributing their in-depth know-how on energy interfaces at the field level, with the internationally recognized OPC UA data modelling standard defining semantics and secure data transport, serving as the foundation of the Global Production Language developed by the VDMA”, says Stefan Hoppe, President OPC Foundation.

“ODVA is pleased to be an active contributor to this key initiative to optimize energy usage and thereby reduce the detrimental impact on the environment from waste,” said Dr. Al Beydoun, President and Executive Director of ODVA. “This Power Consumption Management collaboration will help ensure end users have a highly standardized and interoperable means to reach their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) goals.”

The results of the working group will be published as a new OPC UA specification. Future releases of the OPC UA for Machinery specification will leverage these results, ensuring that energy information from all machines and components on the shop floor can be provided in a standardized way as part of the Global Production Language.

“The activity is based, in particular, on the existing standards of the participating organizations; but also on other standards from the OPC Foundation, the VDMA, and external research,” says Heiko Herden, VDMA and elected chairperson of the new joint working group. “In combination with other OPC UA for Machinery use cases, such as status monitoring or job management, the calculation of the product and production-specific carbon footprint will be possible.”

Within the VDMA, over 600 member companies develop the Global Production Language. OPC UA Companion Specifications, for numerous sectors of the mechanical and plant engineering industry, are being created by an additional 40 working groups. The basic specification, “OPC UA for Machinery,” is a special case. Here, important building blocks are defined across all domains. Other specifications can be based on these building blocks.

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