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OPC News from Hanover Fair and OPC Day Europe

    The OPC Foundation has attended or hosted a number of events recently:

    • Exhibiting in the OPC Foundation booth at Hanover Fair
    • Exhibiting in the Microsoft booth at Hanover Fair
    • Conducting a press conference at Hanover Fair
    • Hosting an OPC Day in Europe
    • Conducting an Interop in Phoenix, Arizona

    OPC Booth at Hanover Fair

    Some quick facts about the Fair:

    • 6,500 exhibitors from over 70 countries
    • Over 220,000 visitors; 70,000 from outside Germany
    • India was the partner country and had 400 exhibitors
    • The fairgrounds indoor space is huge: 5,300,000 million sq.ft. spread through 27 halls

    The next Hanover Fair will be from 25 to 29 April 2016.  The 2016 partner country will be the United States.

    The 1600 sq. ft. OPC booth features a product wall, an RFID demo, a lounge/networking area, and eight member kiosks.  Here is a look around the booth (click to enlarge and start slideshow):

    Microsoft Booth at Hanover Fair

    Within the Microsoft booth, OPC UA was represented prominently both inside their technology (Azure) and in OPC Foundation members’ products on display.

    Press Conference

    The press conference agenda included:

    • Thomas Burke, President, OPC Foundation, with OPC news of the world, shared source code, and board extension
    • OPC from SAP point of view, Veronika Schmid-Lutz, Chief Product Owner Manufacturing, SAP AG, explaining why OPC is important to SAP  (It’s the connectivity)
    • OPC-UA and Reference Architecture Model Industrie 4.0 (RAMI4.0), Thomas Hahn, Siemens AG, showing where OPC UA fits in Industrie 4.0.  OPC UA has its place in the recently published “Recommendations for implementing Industrie 4.0.”
    • OPC UA integration into Microsoft Azure; Rohit Bhargava, Microsoft, showed how OPC UA connects to Microsoft’s cloud
    • Technical Update, Matthias Damm, Ascolab, covered new use cases and how collaboration fits
    • Report on OPCF Collaborations [Reported on in this issue’s Collaboration News]
    • Results of Auto-ID Industry standardized on OPC UA, Olaf Wilmsmeier, HARTING
    • EtherCAT: OPC-UA good fit for IoT and Industrie4.0
      Martin Rostan, Executive Director, EtherCAT Technology Group
    • Vision: OPC UA initiative from German Automation vendors, Dominik Bösl, KUKA, highlighting recent progress of OPC UA
    • IoT strategy & activities, Stefan Hoppe, Vice President, OPC Foundation

    OPC Day in Europe

    The 5th OPC Day Europe on May 19th and 20th has been hosted by Microsoft in their conference center in Paris. A total number of 186 people from 25 different countries attended the event and voted the presentation from Microsoft Clemens Vasters as best value of conference speaking about OPC UA and Azure IoT Services integration. His colleague Erich Barnstedt provided information about the new Windows 10: the tiniest version of the operating system, called IoT Core is a free of charge operating system which Erich showed in a live demo running an ANSI C Stack based OPC UA server.

    Bernard Cubizolles, GE explained why OPC UA is key technology in their worldwide strategy for IoT. Bernhard also shared information about their new OPC-UA Global Discovery Server implementation which is the first implementation in the world.

    Attendees learned about new specification work on the PubSub (Publisher/Subscriber) communication model which will enable better scalability and flexibility for future IoT applications. Heiner Munz from KUKA presented together with Todd Walter from National Instruments that OPC UA in combination with Time Sensitive Network (TSN) may be able to enable a level of real time communication in future.

    Industry 4.0, which is being exported more and more outside of Germany as well has been presented by Siemens: The Reference Architecture Model for Industrie4.0 (RAMI4.0) is listing recommendations for the technology to be used – and OPC UA is the only communication technology that is listed.

    The OPC-Day Europe is a well-accepted format providing technology only related information but also leaves plenty of time for discussions as well.

    Interop in Phoenix

    OPC Foundation member Honeywell provided the venue for the April Interop.  Participants observed that their ability to achieve certification later in the test lab was enhanced by the experience.  More Interops are planned.