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President’s Welcome

    Dear colleagues,

    Another exciting edition of the OPC Connect newsletter has arrived.

    There are a lot of exciting things that you will see announced at the upcoming SPS/IPC/Drives trade-show in Nuremberg Germany in November. The focus of OPC UA has been to address all the underlying communication protocols and provide seamless interoperability in a protocol agnostic fashion. The same focus is going on with respect to OPC UA embracing the Industrial Internet of Things and how we have become the standard bridging all of the IIoT protocols for information integration interoperability from the sensor to the cloud.

    When OPC started, it was totally a vendor driven initiative. Now we are seeing a strong push from the end-users across multiple industries, inclusive of oil and gas, pharmaceutical, and of course our favorite process and discrete markets where they are leveraging the OPC UA information model and demanding information integration interoperability from all of their suppliers.

    OPC UA clearly provides the complete solution for multi-vendor, multi-platform, secure, reliable information integration interoperability from the sensor to the cloud.

    North American Activities

    We just came back from an exciting roadshow tour in North America where we visited Montréal, Cleveland, Chicago, and Morris Plains, New Jersey hosting local OPC events.  It was very exciting to have companies hosting the events inclusive of Beckhoff, ABB, and Honeywell as well as our participation in Chicago hosted by IMTS and the very important organization AMT which is driving the OPC UA companion specification for MTConnect. MTConnect is rapidly becoming the standard inside of North America as a solution for machine tool connectivity providing seamless communication integration between disparate machines and other applications. It was exciting to see the synergy between VDW, VDMA and MTConnect with respect to standardization of machine tool information models.

    Read further into this newsletter to see the exciting article that talks about the OPC UA companion specification for MTConnect.

    European Activities

    We are about to hold our OPC interoperability workshop in Europe. This event is hosted by Siemens and has always drawn a full house of companies all wanting to validate their products’ interoperability with their competitors. We are about to have a record-setting number of people and companies attending the European OPC interoperability workshop. Needless to say, the companies and people attending this event are going to work very hard all week long validating interoperability with their competitors across the multitude of domains.

    I had the great opportunity to visit our certification lab outside of Stuttgart, Germany. It was great to see the exciting activities firsthand with all the companies that are certifying their OPC UA products. There are a number of vendors that are certifying their OPC UA products with the companion specifications right now. The information model architecture is now truly being certified across the multitude of domains.

    I also had the opportunity to participate in the TSN/A conference in Stuttgart Germany during the last week of September 2018. This was a very exciting event and listening to the multitude of suppliers and end-users validating the importance of OPC UA over TSN as a game changing technology. The networking opportunity meeting with so many people was absolutely overwhelming.

    IPR Policy 2.1

    The OPC Foundation is rolling out another version of the IPR policy (called 2.1), to make necessary updates to the IPR 2.0 policy. What’s exciting about this is the commitment from the board member companies’ legal staff and getting direct engagement with many other companies and their respective legal staff to build a best-of-breed IPR 2.1 policy. These colleagues worked together with immense passion to set up a new, modern policy in a very short amount of time. We recognize the importance of the OT to IT convergence and this new IPR 2.1 policy provides the infrastructure necessary to allow all of our vendors to rapidly deploy and release OPC UA enabled products without encumbrance.

    Get Involved

    We’re looking forward to a very exciting 2019 and we want to make sure that all of you in the OPC community provide us the necessary direction to make sure that we are developing truly the best specifications, technology, processes, and certification policies that exceed your demands for seamless information integration and provide you the opportunity to increase market awareness and sales of your products and services because of the OPC UA standardization.

    I highly encourage you to stay active in the OPC Foundation community and specifically get yourself involved in the multiple OPC working groups both for the OPC UA baseline architecture as well as the multitude of collaborations in which the OPC Foundation is engaged. This is a significant opportunity for you to increase awareness and get your products into other domains outside of the traditional domains that your product is currently serving.

    We want your application stories that talk about how your company and your customers are using the OPC UA technology. Please make sure you contact Stefan or me to take advantage of this great marketing opportunity that is available to all members of the OPC Foundation.

    Make sure you’re making plans to participate in the various OPC events that are already being planned and scheduled for 2019 and please make us aware of any opportunities that you feel we should be having OPC Foundation participation.

    Thanks again for taking time out from your busy day to read this edition of the OPC Connect newsletter.