The month of September through November for the OPC Foundation is always a very, very busy time of year. The end of September is the beginning of the North American seminar tour, and the OPC Foundation Booth at PackExpo in Las Vegas. The SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany takes place in November. There are also regional events in Finland and Belgium this year. I highly encourage you to take time out from your busy schedule and visit OPC at one of these numerous venues, and learn where OPC is going.
While IoT standards and interoperability are likely to be subjects of ongoing debate and discussion over the next few years, there are already well-established standards in industrial and manufacturing environments that can accelerate the shift to outcome-based models. In fact, OPC Unified Architecture is a platform independent service oriented architecture that provides standard models for secure and reliable information exchange in industrial automation across a range of manufacturing and resource industries.
Is your product one of the 108 products Certified by the OPC Foundation? Certified product prove they are ready for production environments as they demonstrate compliance, interoperability with other vendors’ products, robustness, graceful recovery from bad communications, and don’t over-consume vital system resources.
It’s an exciting time of year for the OPC Foundation as many events across the globe are gearing up. From a seminar tour in North America to workshops across Europe, there are ample opportunities to meet with OPC Foundation members and experts. These span not only continents but industries as well including dedicated events for track-and-trace, packaging, enterprise/IT, and of course automation.
Recently, a large manufacturer of raw materials for the power generation industry needed to accomplish what would seem to be a relatively straightforward task – to gather comprehensive temperature and humidity data across facilities where vacuum furnaces operate to harden materials. The engineer discovered that an OPC Server for consuming RESTful JSON web services would easily facilitate consuming the required data in real-time and exposing it via OPC.
One vision of Industry 4.0 is of a highly automated, harmonious production line that relies on minimal human intervention. This goal requires seamless communication between different machines, networks and applications. Luckily for industry, that’s where the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) protocol comes into play.
The City of Enid, Oklahoma is located 70 miles North of Oklahoma City. The city’s water management services include production, distribution and reclamation. It includes approximately 140 producing underground water wells with 200 miles of collection lines, 23 million gallons of storage tanks, seven pumping stations and two treatment plants. The department wanted a solution that easily integrated with OPC UA standards and could handle over 1,400 tags.
ABB was selected as the main automation contractor for the world’s first operation focused on converting gas from coal seams into liquefied natural gas. With several new wells being introduced every day, ABB needed to be able to bring them on and off line in a highly streamlined and efficient manner; furthermore, the method of configuring them needed to be simple, fast, and very reliable.
Collaboration has been and continues to be the cornerstone of success for the OPC Foundation. Developing solutions for many vertical markets is the vision of the OPC Foundation. When open standards are adopted across verticals, all users benefit. For example, that effort continues today to extend OPC UA beyond industrial automation into new territory like healthcare. And in industrial automation, that goal is furthered by collaboration with associations like CSIA.