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December 2015

President’s Welcome

What’s the buzz with IIOT, Industrie 4.0, IoT, and M2M? Is it real or is it just marketing hype?

There are many buzzwords, three letter acronyms (TLA) and proliferation of phrases that attempt to define and communicate all this terminology that some people are summing up as the Internet of Everything. What we know is that all of these buzzwords and acronyms seemingly all have one thing in common, they are all fundamentally founded assuming Ethernet-based technology.

The Enerclean Project

OPC is being used in the production of electricity with zero emissions. PROGEA is one of the companies that participated in the technology innovation project called Enerclean, coordinated by the Department of Science and Engineering, University of Modena & Reggio. The project involves the production of clean energy and hydrogen through the natural process of combustion of aluminum powder on contact with water. The goal is to get a high efficiency energy system with near zero environmental impact.

OPC Activities

OPC Foundation has been active in events and collaborations in 2015. A six-city North American seminar tour provided technical information on OPC UA. We are presenting OPC UA at members’ user meetings with frequency. Finally, we exhibited at SPS/IPC/Drives where additional collaborations were announced.

OPC Collaborations

The OPC Foundation increases the adoption of OPC UA by collaboration with other trade organizations. “We have signed collaboration agreements with Profibus & Profinet International, ESPG (Powerlink), Sercos International, and m2m-Alliance,” announced Stefan Hoppe at the OPC Foundation press conference at the SPS Show. These organizations use OPC UA as a secure transport channel to reach interoperability to other systems.

Certification Corner

Certification continues to be prominent feature of OPC UA because it provides a high level of assurance that a product complies with the specifications. It assures the product is interoperable, robust, reliable, and efficient with resources. It is without surprise why users, organizations, and standards bodies are adopting OPC UA.

OPC Foundation InterOp Europe Workshop: Count Me In!

A first-person impression of an OPC InterOp: This workshop is “the event” for testing OPC products for interoperability. Vendors can test and debug their products against one another for not only interoperability, but also compliance and reliability. IOP workshops also provide an ideal opportunity to learn about OPC technology and to interact with industry-leading experts.

Why KUKA joined the OPC Foundation

Companies join the OPC Foundation for many reasons:

KUKA joined to influence the direction of the technology and contribute to its progress through working groups. Read their reasons in this magazine interview, reproduced on the OPC Foundation website.

Why Semantics Matter

While OPC UA today is mostly recognized for its communication virtues (regarding scalability, security, performance, platform-independence), one of its most exciting features remains in the shadows. Information modeling, or the ability to express not only data but also the meaning of data, is a key concept in the quest to make systems more intelligent, more autonomous and more evolvable. While the full potential of information modeling in industrial applications remains to be demonstrated by academic research, many of its core ideas can be applied right now.

Product News

Softing introduced a gateway for data connection of Siemens S7 PLCs to OPC UA clients and demonstrated the first OPC UA Publisher/Subscriber real-time stack.
Cogent Real-Time Systems announced that in full support of the OPC Foundation’s OPC UA initiatives, the next release of the Cogent DataHub will feature both OPC UA server and OPC UA client connectivity.