President’s Welcome

Welcome to the March 2016 edition of the OPC Foundation OPC Connect newsletter.  2016 has already started with a multitude of opportunities for the Foundation; its members, and the whole OPC community.  Interoperability through collaboration continues to be the key objective of the end-user community in industrial automation.  There is major momentum to address the Internet of Everything by all of the end-users, and suppliers are rallying around the concept of connectivity and information integration. There are numerous events and conferences exploring, evangelizing, and promoting Smart industry and smart Ethernet.  Security and discovery and connectivity are all keys aspects tying together the IT and OT worlds.

2015 wrap up

OPC UA adoption continues to grow very aggressively throughout the world. The OPC Foundation announced many new partnerships with respect to collaborations with other information model standards organizations that will result in companion specifications for the OPC UA architecture.

The technology of OPC UA continues to be expanded with the addition of publish/subscribe in addition to the long-standing client/server architecture.  Last year we also open sourced the OPC UA .NET technology to facilitate academia and researchers quickly jumpstarting themselves on the OPC UA technology portfolio.

Members of the OPC Foundation benefit from being able to use the technology to prototype and bring real world-class products to market, and take advantage of the robust, reliable OPC Foundation certification program.

We hosted three interoperability workshops last year across regional boundaries including North America, Europe, and Japan. Participation is another significant benefit of membership.

From a marketing perspective, OPC Foundation Vice President Stefan Hoppe and I truly traveled the world in 2015. Between the two of us we actively attended and presented at a multitude of tradeshows, vendor events, and our own OPC sanctioned events. The analysts tell us that there are over 3500 companies that actively have built OPC enabled products amounting to more than 42,000 products in the marketplace and over 45 million installations.  These same analysts will be publishing complete results of this intensive analysis early second quarter 2016.

2016 strategy

Marketing

The focus of OPC this year is really to evangelize the technology and brand the technology as the complete infrastructure and solution for the Internet of Everything.

The OPC Foundation is actively participating in all of the industry world events and anything related to opportunities to evangelize the OPC technology into the Industrial Internet of Things, Internet of Things, M2M, and Industrie 4.0.

We’re seeing widespread opportunities to truly embrace a connected world but most importantly providing secure reliable information integration between the multitude of connected devices. This is OPC UA as the multivendor, multiplatform solution providing an infrastructure for consortia and vendors to describe their data and information for other applications and devices to discover and be able to consume data that has been analyzed into information to make intelligent operational and business decisions.

Technology

OPC UA is actively embracing extending the architecture with the addition of new communication protocols underneath that still facilitate complete backward compatibility through our popular discovery architecture. OPC clients and servers discover the capabilities of each other and then can effectively interoperate with each other, sharing data and information both in the client/server mechanism as well as the upcoming publish/subscribe architecture.

We are extending OPC UA through our partnership and collaboration with many standards organizations to develop OPC UA companion specifications to facilitate their information being plug-and-play into the OPC UA architecture.

Member News and Benefits

OPC Foundation members benefit from the ability to increase awareness about their products and services through our comprehensive marketing program. They can develop world-class products and have their products certified through the OPC Foundation certification program. OPC Foundation members can participate in OPC interoperability workshops and validate their products for interoperability with a multitude of other vendors from the Foundation.

OPC Foundation members have the unique opportunity to participate in enhancing and extending the standard both for industrial automation and other domains. There are many working groups and we have many companies actively participating in helping the Foundation bring the best specifications and technology to market to achieve interoperability for moving data and information from the embedded world to the cloud. We have many activities that allow us to continue to extend the architecture of OPC UA and at the same time maintain complete backward compatibility with existing products already deployed in the marketplace.

Summary

In summary, I highly encourage you to get actively involved in the OPC Foundation through membership. There are many benefits of membership. This is a significant opportunity to become part of the OPC community to truly help advance the state-of-the-art technology into the future beyond industrial automation, and at the same time be able to quickly bring world-class products to market leveraging the interoperability workshops and the extensive OPC Foundation certification program. Do you want to increase revenue and awareness about your products and services? Join the OPC Foundation.

And finally, Stefan and I are always looking for success stories and new ways that suppliers and end-users are using the OPC technology. Send them our way.

Thomas J. Burke
OPC Foundation President & Executive Director