AIM-D e.V. and the OPC Foundation have jointly initiated and continuously developed the AutoID Companion Specification in order to link AutoID and IT systems faster in all fields of application. Numerous practical applications are now available.
At the 2018 SPS IPC Drives trade fair, AIM presented a demonstration wall entitled: “OPC UA for AutoID”. It was impressive proof of the significantly increased usage of OPC UA in the area of AutoID. AutoID manufacturers supporting this initiative include Balluff, Harting, Leuze, Sick, Siemens, and Turck.
A single interface allows different signal types (barcode: 1D/2D; RFID: LF-RFID, HF-RFID (NFC), UHF-RFID (RAIN) and many more) to integrate directly into IT systems (e.g. MES / ERP) including those from SAP and Microsoft Azure Cloud. All of this is based on OPC UA. Another advantage of OPC UA is the integrated security (by design) – validated by the experts of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). This shows once again that OPC UA is much more than just a protocol.
The AutoID Companion Specification – based on OPC UA – provides the secure exchange of standardized data and interfaces and thus helps to reduce engineering costs.
Sven-Philipp Abraham, Product Manager of Ident/Vision comments “Leuze electronic considers the OPC UA for AutoID compendium to be trend-setting and will support this global standard in its identification products”.
Bernd Wieseler, Head of Product Management RFID Systems, describes it similarly, “Turck sees the OPC UA technology as a huge opportunity and potential for the implementation of Industry 4.0 applications and as an important standard for future technologies and products. For this reason, Turck has been early to rely on OPC UA and supports it with RFID HF and UHF systems, which were implemented according to the AIM Companion Specification. Turck also offers and develops advanced systems in the field of control and cloud technology with OPC UA.”
Oliver Pütz-Gerbig, Product Manager / Business Unit Identification says, “For the IUNO research project, Balluff developed an OPC UA-based RFID solution for secure data communication between the object level and corporate IT: A benefit for companies that can thus design their production processes to be secure. To ensure this, the new UHF technology will be equipped with OPC UA protocol according to the AIM Auto-ID Companion Specification V1.0 and end-to-end encryption. Balluff sees these systems as key for Industry 4.0 solutions and the IIoT.”
And Olaf Wilmsmeier, Product Manager at the Harting Group adds, “With a view to the increasing acceptance of OPC UA worldwide, we are making a significant contribution to simplifying and accelerating the integration of AutoID devices within the framework of future concepts such as Industry 4.0 and the IIoT.”