Foxconn Industrial Internet Becomes 699th OPC Foundation Member

The OPC Foundation proudly welcomes Foxconn Industrial Internet (Fii) the six hundred and ninety ninth (699th) OPC Foundation member. As one of the world’s leading intelligent manufacturing solution providers, Fii uses its industrial internet platform, and a host of edge products and services to do everything from running eight lights-out factories to managing over two hundred thousand machines and robots. Starting with its Robot MicroCloud, Fii adopted OPC UA to best access and utilize the rich contextual data those systems possess.

Fii is present in over 11 countries across four continents where it supplies intelligent manufacturing equipment and solutions centered on the industrial Internet platform. In a bid to lead the way to smart manufacturing Fii offers intelligent solutions based on its core technologies such as smart sensors, Fii Cloud, MicroCloud and Fog AI – an exclusive edge computing server. Uniting customers, suppliers, and partners in vertical markets, Fii is building a technology enabling ecosystem that leverages OPC UA and long-standing Fii resources in advanced technology such as industrial big data and industrial AI.

Discussing its entry into the OPC Foundation, Brand Cheng, the Chief Executive Officer at Fii remarked, “Joining the OPC Foundation is an important step for Fii to share its expertise and achievements with other OPC members. Fii wants to  engage in a mutually beneficial exchange of OPC UA application ideas and innovations such as standardizing technical papers, creating a library of reference designs, and sharing source code openly. By leveraging OPC UA and the cost benefits of standard Ethernet hardware to deal with multiple Ethernet-based fieldbus systems in the industrial communication market, Fii is set to deliver more value to Industry 4.0 solutions with agile development in industrial applications.”

Mr. Cheng concluded “Fii has a strong track record of successfully contributing to and innovating OPC UA adoption use cases. For example, our industrial robots have built-in OPC UA server that provides real-time status and diagnostic/prognostic information to the Robot MicroCloud for intelligent operation management. The rich information content of each robot is organized using OPC UA’s information model, facilitating data retrieval at different system/subsystem/module levels. Fii has developed a holistic communication infrastructure between industrial equipment and sensors to the cloud, and time-sensitive feedback control from the cloud back to equipment. We anticipate that OPC UA over TSN with 5G NR will prove to be a game changer in the field of smart factories.”

Fii CAA Steve Chiu and Chia Day commented: “At the edge layer of an intelligent factory, data is collected from and commands are sent to machines built by a multitude of different suppliers. It becomes increasingly important to standardize the way data is communicated. OPC UA provides such a way so that various equipment and machine type can be integrated quickly and reliably. It takes some initial effort to try-out and to adjust to a new technology.  Once a standard like OPC UA is adopted, everyone will benefit from it.”

Stefan Hoppe, President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation commented, “It is an honor to welcome Foxconn Industrial Internet as a member of the OPC Foundation for several reasons. First, having a company of Fii’s stature join us is a strong testament to the scalability of the value OPC UA brings to even the world’s largest companies. Second, the innovation and active engagement Fii brings to the OPC UA community helps demonstrate and further develop OPC UA use cases for the rest of the market.” Looking at the broader picture, Mr. Hoppe concluded, “As a key player in the massive Chinese control automation market, Fii leadership’s decision to become an active OPC Foundation member helps send a clear message to domestic and international companies about the competitive importance of adopting OPC UA as part of their intelligent manufacturing strategy. Companies that ignore this do so at their own peril.”

Fii helps industrial companies take advantage of intelligent manufacturing via digital transformation which it orchestrates using a broad range of its industrial Internet of Things solutions and services. Given the scale of complexity of this undertaking, Fii quickly saw the move to using OPC UA for data communications and information modeling as a strategic advantage. By adopting OPC UA, Fii is expects to increase internal efficiencies by offering customers unprecedented flexibility and convenience in integrating and modifying infrastructure all for the purpose of optimizing plant equipment utilization, maximizing output, and minimizing costs.