Good morning, good afternoon, good evening – wherever you are in the world!
… this is my warm welcome to the audience in a worldwide community.
I hope you have had a good summer! For us, as the OPC team, this summer has been different from previous years – usually, the world quiets down a bit from mid-July to the end of August as people take vacations, relax and recuperate. This year was quite different, as the Achema show was moved to the vacation period at the end of August.
Here Are My Observations
August 22–26 2022, Achema, Frankfurt
- The OPCF booth at Achema was the largest in the history of the OPC Foundation, covering 324 sqm – demonstrating our commitment to the process industry, which industry was the starting point of the OPC Foundation years ago! Monday had sparce attendance, as expected, but we had great conversations and interest in our technology offerings on the other days.
- From an adoption perspective, Namur Open Architecture (NOA), MTP, and OPAF are committed to OPC UA technology!
- OPC UA is mandatory in Namur Open Architecture (NOA), in order to fulfill the “second channel” for monitoring and optimization. Vendors and end-users will become more and more familiar with how to use OPC UA technology, including security. We believe that this will lead to OPC UA becoming the best solution for the first data channel as well. The gaps in OPC UA-enabled devices that exist today (e.g., offline configuration of equipment) are already being addressed by the OPC Foundations FLC initiative – a live FLC “controller-to-controller” communication demo was shown at Achema.
- Suppliers will build more and more hybrid products that initially include established fieldbus solutions, such as PROFINET and Ethernet/IP via APL – but also integrate OPC UA for the second diagnostic channel. In a second step, OPC UA will extend to the 1st channel in addition to today’s solutions: Ethernet-APL will make the OPC UA solution the only technology that scales from the field to the cloud, including information models, security, and functional safety. To my great surprise and delight, Stefan Basenach, from ABB, gave a clear statement on ABB’s strategy during the OPCF press conference, precisely confirming this transition from the status quo to OPC UA and APL-based solutions – content and recording will be published soon.
- Our new OPCF Corporate member, SAMSON, showed their APL devices in a live demo, together with Endress+Hauser and Pepperl+Fuchs, integrating OPC UA connections into Digital Twin solutions. Docker technology with OPC UA over MQTT made it easy for them to push data into Microsoft Azure dashboards.
- Partner pods offered information from COPA, FDT, OPAF, OPEN-SCS, Siemens, and VDMA, who demonstrated their solutions and offerings at the OPC Foundation booth.
Sept 12– 17 2022 IMTS/HMUSA Chicago
- Not only did we show all the demo walls at the IMTS/HMUSA show in Chicago, including the UAFX field demos and cloud applications – we also hosted our traditional OPC Day, which gave attendees insights into the latest news. Frankly, I’ve noticed significant changes in North America: Up until a few years ago – before the pandemic – we were discussing OPC UA related more to issues about the transition from OPC Classic to OPC UA, like, “What is the benefit of OPC UA” and “why should I use this new technology” seemed to be the main focus. This year, I was pleased to meet the brightest minds in the room, who asked deep questions about the latest technologies and their adoption. It was also a pleasure to have Amazon Web Services (aws) as a speaker to learn about their OPC UA offerings.
- Partner pods offered information from CESMII and Kalycito, who presented their solutions and offerings at the OPC booth.
Almost every presentation I give is about collaboration: I strongly believe that a single association cannot meet the automation needs of the industry. Bringing different groups of people together is key for the industry to avoid duplicate standardization. When working with partners, the OPC Foundation has a very easy agreement because the rules are simple: The results must be openly available, and they belong to all the associations involved.
OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group cooperate on PA-DIM and an Instrumentation Device Profile for OPC UA Field eXchange
Before I get into the details, I would like to thank Thoralf Schulz, ABB, in his role as FCG Chair, and Thomas Hahn, Siemens, in his role as VP OPCF, for organizing this “package deal” between OPCF and FCG:
OPCF and FCG having been co-owners of PA-DIM for some time, agreed to extend ownership to ISA100 WCI, NAMUR, ODVA, PI, VDMA, and ZVEI. In the meantime, the contract has been signed by all parties. The important thing is that we all agree on one single set of standardized data, thus avoiding duplicate definitions.
More details can be found here.
- New Instrumentation Working Group
OPC FLC is collaborating with PI on Functional Safety, with ODVA/SI on Motion, and now with FCG on Instrumentation. Since OPC UA is the most promising technology in the field of process automation, this closing of ranks makes sense.
More details can be found here.
While I see significant efforts by all OT-oriented associations to work together for the benefit of their members, I still see dissonance between the OT and IT worlds. Instead, I would admonish them to listen and learn from each other!
- OPC UA for Cloud Plugfest
The OPCF Cloud Plugfest welcomes more and more OT companies pushing data “OPC UA over MQTT” into dashboards.
Call for Action: If you would like to be part of the presentation at this year’s SPS event and show your company logo, free of charge at the OPCF booth (but also on 2 other cloud vendor booths), please contact Alexander Allmendinger at alexander.allmendinger[AT]opcfoundation.org immediately.
- OPC UA for Field – Recordings available
The FLC Initiative held 3 days of “OPC UA Field eXchange (FX) Digital Days” – you can find the links in Peter Lutz FLC/FX corner here.
- It is my personal pleasure to present the latest OPC UA success story from the Miele company – particularly since their headquarters is about a ten-minute drive from my home.
Read the story here.
- Secondly, I’ve found that it used to take some significant effort to convince companies to agree to publish a success story – now, companies freely contact us to offer their success for the industry to hear. Stay tuned for the next stories here.
See call for participation here: https://opcfoundation.org/news-events/events/