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FLC Corner – June 2020

    OPF Foundation Cooperates with ODVA and Sercos International to Develop OPC UA Motion

    Cooperation to speed up Field Level Communications (FLC) initiative backed by proven technologies from established organizations

    The OPC Foundation, ODVA, and Sercos International are pleased to announce a collaboration to develop a new generation of a best-in-class motion technology for industry. This new motion technology will be initially published as OPC UA Motion, with subsequent updates to the Sercos technology and the CIP Motion technology for EtherNet/IP. This development will provide a flexible architecture for distributing motion control features between controllers and drives, based on a common information model for motion devices, such as PLCs / motion controllers, standard drives / frequency converters, positioning drives, servo drives, motion encoders, motor starters, and power supplies.

    To begin the work, a new OPC UA Motion Working Group (WG) was launched on May 18th. The new Motion WG is tasked with specifying the motion facet of FLC to enable inter-vendor operation for motion automation. Many well-known industrial automation manufacturers in the field of motion control are represented within this WG to ensure a uniform, worldwide, and coordinated standard for motion automation in discrete and process manufacturing. This new motion specification will use PubSub, with and without TSN network access, and can be combined with OPC UA Safety to support all relevant use cases for centralized and non-centralized motion solution concepts.

    “OPC UA Motion is an important extension to the OPC UA Framework, ensuring – in combination with OPC UA Safety, Deterministic Communication and Ethernet-APL/SPE – semantic interoperability, not only for the Controller-to-Controller and Controller-to-Device use cases in factory and process automation, but also supporting OPC UA as a fully scalable technology from the sensor across all levels to MES / ERP and also to the cloud,” stated Peter Lutz, Director, FLC Initiative at OPC Foundation.

    In order to provide end-users with a best-in-class solution, the FLC Initiative selected motion solutions backed by proven technologies from established organizations: as a result, CIP MotionTM and Sercos specifications have been determined to be ideal solutions upon which to base OPC UA Motion. In turn, ODVA and Sercos International are committed to building upon their existing collaborations with the OPC Foundation and to providing end users of their technologies, EtherNet/IP and Sercos, with an expanded solution set as well as improved motion technology. The CIP Motion and Sercos specifications will be used and may be changed or extended for:

    • Adaptation to OPC UA & FLC system architecture
    • Innovation to cover Industrie 4.0 and digitalization use-cases
    • Modern concepts of data modelling and real time requirements

    The FLC Initiative – with their Architecture & Infrastructure (A&I) WG and Safety WG – guarantees to deliver a harmonized solution for motion automation applications including safe motion functionality. In addition, cooperation is planned with the existing VDMA/OPC Foundation joint WG for electrical power train systems.

    “The work between ODVA and the OPC Foundation on OPC UA Motion and the OPC UA Companion Specification for CIP will ensure that vendors and end-users can take advantage of best-in-class device, cloud, and enterprise level services in both the machine automation and process industries with EtherNet/IP and OPC UA,” stated Dr. Al Beydoun, President and Executive Director of ODVA. “CIP Motion is a proven technology providing value for users of EtherNet/IP, and ODVA is delighted that the FLC initiative has decided to use CIP Motion profiles as a basis to support the goal of harmonized application of TSN in future motion profiles. This will benefit users of EtherNet/IP, as well as users throughout industry, with lower investment and deployment efforts.”

    “Sercos International is very pleased to support the creation of a new harmonized motion profile under the auspices of the OPC Foundation. The utilization of the long standing and proven Sercos drive profiles will contribute to a broad acceptance of OPC UA Motion by users and suppliers in the wide range of motion applications ,” stated Klaus Weyer, managing director of Sercos International.