FLC Corner – September 2021

OPC UA FX (Field eXchange) – First public specification for Controller-to-Controller expected by end of 2021

More than 320 experts from over 60 OPC Foundation member companies have been contributing to the OPC UA FX (Field eXchange) specifications which extend the OPC UA framework down to the field-level. Currently, the various technical working groups are working with high intensity to complete the second release candidate (RC2) which will soon be submitted for OPCF-wide membership review.

The OPC UA FX specification release will consist of the following parts:

  • Part 80: OPC UA FX – Overview and Concepts
  • Part 81: OPC UA FX – Connecting Devices and Information Model
  • Part 82: OPC UA FX – Networking
  • Part 83: OPC UA FX – Offline Engineering
  • Part 84: OPC UA FX – Profiles

The publication of the first OPC UA FX specification release will mark an important milestone for the Field Level Communications (FLC) initiative which was launched in November 2018 with the goal to extend OPC UA for the various use-cases in Factory Automation and Process Automation including Real-Time, Motion and Safety.

Two other working groups of the FLC Initiative have also made significant progress:

  • The Safety Working Group, which was initiated in collaboration with the Profibus User Organization, will soon release version 2.0 of the OPC UA Safety Specification (OPC 10000-15), which includes extensions for OPC UA PubSub.
  • The Motion Working Group -in collaboration with ODVA and Sercos International – was launched in May 2020 and is developing an architecture and information model for motion control devices.

For this year’s SPS show, an OPC UA FX Controller-to-Controller Interoperability demo is being planned to demonstrate how controllers of different manufacturers are enabled to exchange process data including real-time, safety data, and on-demand data using OPC UA and the OPC UA FX extensions over a network infrastructure consisting of Ethernet, Ethernet TSN, and 5G routers.

For more information please contact Peter Lutz at peter.lutz[AT]opcfoundation.org.