President’s Column

Welcome to the final edition of the OPC Foundation OPC Connect newsletter of 2016.

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.

Everyone keeps talking about the OPC UA technology and specifically the security and the information modeling components.

The OPC Foundation has announced significant international membership growth and adoption of the OPC UA technology as OPC expands its reach across international boundaries, multiple domains, and vertical markets.

OPC: Growing Beyond Automation

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.

Global Growth

The OPC UA specifications and technology are very 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.

opc_messestand_sps_2016_5875-copy
Tom Burke, President OPC Foundation; Byunghun Song, KETI; Soojin Ji, KETI; and Stefan Hoppe, Vice President OPC Foundation

The OPC Foundation is truly international, having regional organizations in North America, Europe, Japan, and China. The OPC Foundation is expanding into other regions inclusive of creating a regional organization in Korea, and work is underway to form regional organizations in India, South Africa, and South America.

OPC Korea

ca_tz_tag-3_seite_1-1-2We are very excited about our new OPC Korea organization with a formal signature ceremony and pictures taken with our new colleagues from Korea. This occurred at the SPS tradeshow in Nuremberg Germany at the end of November 2016.

Membership in the OPC Foundation in 2016 has expanded significantly representing a multitude of industries, and includes many major suppliers joining as corporate members of the OPC Foundation who are becoming actively engaged in the OPC community expanding the OPC UA technology and the corresponding OPC UA collaboration companion specifications. Some of the new Class A OPC Foundation members include: Cisco, Eaton, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Parker Hannifin, and Splunk (USA); LG (Korea); JTEKT and Renesas (Japan); Lenze and Leuze (Germany).

Collaboration Efforts

Collaboration with numerous organizations beyond just 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. The collaboration partners are looking for seamless information integration, and OPC UA provides a complete solution expanding beyond simple IoT communication, providing secure reliable information integration. OPC UA information modeling leverages the communication infrastructure of both the client/server and publish/subscriber architectures to build on top of the multitude of IoT communication protocols.

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

OPC Foundation members voted for the slate of Board of Directors for 2017 / 2018. Each year members nominate candidates and we conduct an election. Board members are elected as individuals for a two-year term. Personally, I would like to say congratulations to: Russ Agrusa, (ICONICS), Veronika Schmid-Lutz (SAP), Stefan Hoppe (Beckhoff) (also VP of OPC Foundation), and Matthias Damm (Ascolab) for their nomination and election to the Board. 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).

On behalf of myself and everyone at the OPC Foundation, we all want to wish everyone happy holidays and we look forward to all of you having a very prosperous and successful new year.

— Thomas J. Burke
OPC Foundation President & Executive Director