Regional Report Japan – March 2021

The OPC Foundation Japan Council (OPC-J) held the first online OPC Day Japan 2020 on December 10 and 11, 2020.

Under the title of “Thinking about manufacturing in the digital age,” we introduced the basics and the latest trends of OPC UA, the global standard for manufacturing.

The registered participants reached 690! This is 3.5 times more than the previous year. Participants included not only automation suppliers, but also many end-user companies from Japan’s leading industries, such as automotive and electronic component manufacturers. Attention paid to OPC technology is rapidly growing in Japan as well.

On the first day, members of OPC-J explained the basics of OPC UA, and Mr. Stefan Hoppe, President of the OPC Foundation, introduced OPC UA successes around the world.

On the second day, there was a keynote speech by Mr. Kazutaka Mishima, Editor-in-Chief of MONOist, a leading Japanese digital media for manufacturing, entitled “Issues and the future of connected manufacturing”. A number of OPC UA installed use-cases by OPC-J members were also presented. An explanation of Field Level Communications as the latest trend followed. Finally with a presentation by Andreas Faath of VDMA entitled “The Global Production Language – OPC UA for Machinery”, it became a very fulfilling program.

Participants asked many questions via online chat, which is rare in Japanese events. The OPC-J members cooperated and answered the questions in real time, but due to the volume, we could not respond to all of them. We then prepared answers to all the questions later and shared the list of Q&A with the participants. It is expected that this will deepen the participants’ understanding of OPC UA.

We received 400 responses to our post-event survey. This is a very high response rate.

70% of the respondents wanted the next event to be held online as well. Including those who responded they had no preference for online or in-person, 98% said online worked for them. It can be said that holding the event online is beneficial for both the hosts and the participants.

A sampling of comments from the survey included:

I felt that there was a lot of content that was suitable for people who know a little about OPC UA. I would like to see more introductory topics.

We want materials that can persuade the necessity of adopting the OPC UA to our products.

I want to hear in detail how OPC UA will be installed in the existing industrial devices.

It would be helpful if there was a seminar with in-depth content on technical information.

I want you to dig into the details of “How should we install OPC UA in the factory?”

As above, there were expectations of both “I want to hear more introductory content” and “I want to hear a more in-depth explanation”. As the awareness of OPC UA spreads, the range of needs is expanding. While continuing to extend the awareness of OPC UA, we will also deepen the understanding of its value, and lead to further popularization.

OPC Day Japan 2020 presentation materials, videos and Q&A can be found here: https://jp.opcfoundation.org/activities-in-japan/events/event-details/.

Find the OPC Foundation Japan Council on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/OPCJapan.

Minoru OKA
Omron
Chair of Marketing, OPC Foundation Japan Council