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OPC UA Compliance for Industrial Interoperability


    OPC UA is committed to compliance in order to realize “The Industrial Interoperability Standard”. Compliance activities are to check “whether the system is actually connected” and “whether it can be used in a reliable manner” so that a system can be built using a truly reliable product. As a supplier of OPC UA-equipped products, Omron also focuses on compliance.

    In this article, we will introduce you to the services for checking compliance, the certification test items, and the topic of the certification test.

    The Services for Checking OPC UA Compliance

    The OPC Foundation (OPC-F) offers three services to check OPC UA compliance.

    1) Check it yourself: Test Tool

    To assist in the verification of compliance with the OPC UA specifications, the OPC-F provides a test tool, the Compliance Test Tool (CTT). This tool can be downloaded and used free of charge by any OPC Foundation Corporate Member. Non-Corporate Members can also purchase the tool on a paid basis.

    The CTT provides automatic OPC UA conformance testing. Test reports and error messages are also output, which can be used for debugging in product development.

    2) Checking together: IOP (Interoperability Test)

    The OPC-F organizes an event called Interoperability Workshop (IOP) as an opportunity for each vendor to bring their OPC UA products together and test connectivity.

    Currently, it is held once a year in each of North America, Europe, and Japan, and is free of charge for OPC-F Corporate Members. Test results are not disclosed, so you can bring your OPC UA products under development to be tested. Omron also participates every year. In addition, since it was difficult to meet face-to-face during COVID-19, a “virtual IOP” has been introduced to allow people to participate remotely. This enabled interoperability testing of OPC UA products via the Internet and cloud computing. In Japan, the Virtual IOP was held in 2021, and Omron participated remotely.

    3) Verified by a qualified authority: Certification test

    The OPC-F provides a service to assure that OPC UA products have a certain level of reliability. The certification test is conducted in dedicated test labs. On passing the certification test, OPC-F issues a certificate and a certification logo. It is valid for three years (as of May 2022).

    Anyone can see which OPC UA products have passed the certification test on the OPC-F website, so users can choose highly reliable products when considering the introduction of OPC UA products. Omron’s NX701-1/NX102/NJ501 machine automation controllers with OPC UA server as a standard feature have also been certified and renewed.

    Certification Test Items

    The OPC-F certification test assesses five criteria:

    1. Compliance Test

    Verify that the OPC UA product functions in accordance with the specifications.

    1. Interoperability Test

    Verify connectivity and interoperability with 5 OPC UA products available in the test lab.

    1. Robustness test

    Performs a continuous test by repeatedly disconnecting/reconnecting with OPC UA products.

    1. Efficiency Test

    The OPC UA product under test is operated continuously for 36 hours while connected to 5 OPC UA products with periodic data exchange.

    1. Usability test

    Ease-of-use aspects of the setup tools, etc. will be evaluated.

    Omron has taken the certification test several times to date at the test lab located in Germany. We feel that the test lab is very trustworthy because they not only perform the required tests, but also handle the certification process in a professional manner.

    Topic of Certification Test

    Omron most recently took the certification test at the end of 2020. At that time, we realized that the OPC-F has become more focused on security. Good security is one of the features of OPC UA. Certification and authorization, integrity and confidentiality are provided. When Omron’s OPC UA-compliant products first received OPC UA certification, the default setting for security features was “no security”. This was for the convenience of users.

    Omron was able to obtain the certification with this initial setting, but when the certification was renewed in 2020, the certification policy was tightened and “no security” was no longer allowed in the initial setting. Therefore, Omron has renewed the certification after changing the initial OPC UA security settings for the controller, and is providing products in that configuration.

    To Close

    Compliance is an important element of interoperability, the value that OPC UA delivers. OMRON will continue to focus on compliance with OPC UA and provide value in realizing interoperability.

    Minoru OKA
    Global product manager, Controller