President’s Column

Welcome to the electrifying world of OPC Foundation 2015. There are a lot of exciting things happening from the marketing and technical perspectives in 2015. First, the OPC Foundation has some organizational changes as of January 1, 2015. I want to issue a warm welcome to our new board members; Matthias Damm (Ascolab) and Stefan Hoppe (Beckhoff); they were elected to the OPC Foundation Board of Directors for the years 2015 – 2016. In addition, Russ Agrusa (ICONICS) was re-elected to the Board of Directors.

As you probably have heard already, Stefan Hoppe has joined the OPC Foundation as Vice President responsible for all international technology and marketing initiatives. Stefan has been working for OPC as a volunteer from Beckhoff for the last five years as the OPC Europe President. Stefan’s enthusiasm and excellent technical and business knowledge will significantly increase the advancement of OPC interoperability. Stefan is already making significant progress from an international perspective growing OPC and leveraging the strategy that he executed in Europe which resulted in significantly increasing awareness about the OPC technology.

2015 Outlook

The OPC Foundation’s vision and mission are to be the thought leader providing the best specifications, technology, processes, and certification necessary to achieve multivendor, multi-platform, secure, and reliable interoperability for industrial automation and related domains.   OPC is synonymous with connectivity, collaboration, and interoperability.

Tom Burke
OPC Foundation President Thomas Burke

The theme of 2015 and beyond is all about embracing connectivity and the whole concept of Internet awareness and Internet connectivity. We have a very exciting initiative underway where OPC UA is the driving influence and providing the necessary infrastructure for everything related to applications and connected devices. It closes the fissures in the Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0 to ensure secure connectivity. If you have not heard about the importance of the Internet of Things or Industry 4.0, then you need to instantly check out the OPC Foundation website and download our brochure that talks about the movers and shakers and everything you need to know but were afraid to ask about these important interoperability connectivity initiatives.

OPC Foundation is also putting together quite a collection of collateral to help our members and nonmembers successfully use the OPC UA technology to increase operational efficiency, raise revenue, and lower the costs of operation.

OPC UA Technology

From a technology perspective, the OPC Foundation has numerous working groups and initiatives underway continuing to enhance the OPC UA technology portfolio, and at the same time maintaining seamless backward compatibility with classic OPC as well as earlier versions of the OPC UA technology. We continue to enhance and add additional transports that increase reliability and security for a variety of new hardware and software platforms already available or under development. OPC is embracing and enhancing the OPC UA technology to support a concept known as publish / subscribe, and this will be released in the OPC UA architecture early second-quarter 2015.

Collaboration continues to be a very important part of the vision of OPC UA both expanding the reach of OPC connectivity and interoperability in industrial automation and many related domains.  These collaborations allow our members to significantly increase market share for their products beyond industrial automation into a variety of other domains including building automation and security. Check out the collaboration page on the OPC Foundation website. OPC Foundation members are encouraged to participate in many of the active working groups focused on defining their organization’s information models within the OPC UA information model paradigm.

OPC Foundation Marketing

From a marketing perspective, the OPC Foundation is choreographing many events that include our members evangelizing the OPC message of unified connectivity and interoperability. OPC Europe is participating in six different tradeshows, as well as conducting the internationally recognized OPC Day being hosted by Microsoft in Paris on May 19th and 20th (Register Here). In North America, the OPC Foundation is participating in the PackExpo tradeshow in September as well as actively arranging for six or more roadshows to be held this fall at various locations. Check out the Coming Events article or the OPC Foundation event page for more details about these exciting happenings (and opportunities for members to sponsor).

  • OPC Foundation Booth at Hannover Messe:  April 13-17, 2015; Hannover, Germany
  • OPC Foundation Interoperability Workshop:  April 20-24, 2015; Phoenix, Arizona
  • OPC Day Europe – IT Meets Automation:  May 19-20, 2015; Paris, France

Have you checked out the OPC Foundation website lately? The OPC Foundation is actively soliciting and collecting success stories from our suppliers and end-users that talk about how they have leveraged the OPC UA technology to save money and increase efficiency in their respective operations. The OPC Foundation has quite a portfolio of success stories about the OPC UA technology, and we are always looking to hear from all of our readers about how they use the OPC technology and how it benefits them and their customers.

OPC Foundation is also putting together quite a collection of collateral to help our members and nonmembers successfully use the OPC UA technology to increase operational efficiency, revenue and lower the costs of operation. We’re currently exploring some ways to leverage social media to increase awareness about OPC and our members. We have an active project going on with a regular Twitter feed, so follow us to stay up to date on the latest.

There are many great technical and business reasons to be members of the OPC Foundation. I highly encourage you to take a look at the significant benefits of membership and join today to become part of the elite OPC community and reap the benefits of the great marketing and technology prowess offered by the OPC Foundation.

On behalf of the OPC Foundation staff we thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to read this edition of the OPC Connect newsletter. We welcome any suggestions you may have for new stories to help our readership truly understand the value proposition of OPC.

–Tom Burke, President, OPC Foundation