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OPC Foundation at ACHEMA

    Digitalization in Process Industry

    Different than in other industry sectors, within the process industry there are still many Classic OPC products and legacy protocols for the connection to field devices used in productive environments. But with the DCOM hardening patches of Microsoft and new legislative regulations requiring the usage of secure communications, OPC UA becomes the desired solution by end users. During recent trade shows, end users and project engineers were looking for proven upgrade paths of existing plants and modern solutions for new and upcoming installations. By having OPC technology experts take the time to talk to end users, showing and explaining not only OPC UA, but secure deployments, certificate management, and how to bring information from OT to IT, this years ACHEMA was a great success.

    During the exhibition, OPC Foundation officials took the time to provide information on stage. Thanks to the presenters Alexander Allmendinger, Peter Lutz, Mike Clark, and Stefan Hoppe for providing their expertise and outlook into the future with talks about:

    • The European Cyber Resilience Act (CRA)
      Fulfilling CRA Security Requirements with OPC UA
    • Connecting the Future with OPC UA FX (Field eXchange)
      Empowering Interoperability in Process Automation
    • Standardization with OPC UA in Process
      Technical Alignment with NOA, OPAS, Ethernet-APL, PA-DIM and MTP
    • The OPC foundation Cloud Initiative
      Building the Industrial Cloud Interoperability Standard supported by Alibaba-Cloud, AWS, Huawei, Microsoft and SAP

    Key Activities at the OPC Foundation Booth

    Visitors to the interactive booth, staffed with experts from industry and officials of the OPC Foundation, were able to explore various live demonstrations:

    • Brownfield Integration: Using a modern controller, providing different protocol connectivity solutions e.g. HART, PROFINET to collect the data and providing it with OPC UA and an PA-DIM Information model to the upper layers.
    • Security Management: A live demonstrator showcasing the OPC UA certificate management for OPC UA components, but also support for legacy protocols.
    • Ethernet-APL: A live demonstrator featuring APL-enabled devices bringing OPC UA into field devices and bringing data with OPC UA over MQTT seamlessly to the cloud..

      Left to right: Alfred Schlechter (SAMSON), Stefan Hoppe (OPCF)

    • OPC UA for Field eXchange: A live demonstrator featuring prototype implementations of the OPC UA FX specifications from 27+ vendors. This live demonstrator showcases the benefits of the horizontal Controller-to-Controller (C2C) communication.
    • OPC UA for Cloud eXchange: A live demonstrator featuring 37 running devices and applications publishing OPC UA over MQTT directly to a central broker, providing data to both aws and Microsoft Azure dashboards as well as an application from Inchstone as an example.
    • Digital Twin, Digital Product Passport, Product Carbon Footprint and Battery Passport: A live demonstrator showing a realization of the legislative requirements for digital product passports with OPC UA technology. The demo is supported by international colleagues and partners:  CESMII, from the U.S.; VDMA and Microsoft, from Europe; HUAWAI, from Asia..

    With a booth including all of these real-world products, highlighting the adoption and further commitment from major automation suppliers to the technology, the OPC Foundation summarizes the exhibition as a great place for open discussion and getting to know the technology.