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Packaging machine automation – It just works

    by Robert Trask, P.E

    As U.S. manufacturing and production moves toward what is generally considered the fourth Industrial Revolution, popularized as “Industry 4.0,” many of the necessary technological components are already in place. However, there is some additional ground that must be covered. A consensus is forming around the notion that the primary component preventing the revolution from reaching full speed is wider acceptance of communication standards. So how can we consistently, and with less effort, exchange data between the various components of a highly connected industrial machine or process?

    Unified architecture aids interoperability with IoT

      by Nathan Pocock, Director of Technology and Compliance, OPC Foundation

      It seems as though everyone has now heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 and the opportunities ahead. But are you prepared to benefit from this next technological leap while maximizing your opportunity with minimal risk and cost? One key to success is adopting open standards such as OPC UA, a platform-independent technology that assures interoperability…

      OPC finds a role in bringing together process and building automation

        by Dan Hebert, Control magazine

        OPC is playing a significant role in allowing plants to bridge the gap between process control and building automation systems, according to an article in the November issue of Control magazine by senior technical editor Dan Hebert. There are multiple reasons to bring them together, and others to keep them apart.

        OPC UA progress highlighted at SPS show

          Security and interoperability for data and communication are key topics for the Industry 4.0 initiative and the Internet of Things. An efficient network of sensors, field devices and controllers up to the Cloud for new services and Big Data can be realized with the OPC-Unified Architecture (OPC UA). That was the message delivered at the OPC Foundation press conference during November’s SPS/IPC/Drives 2014 in Nuremberg, Germany.

          Smart watch meets smart factory with OPC UA

            by Tesla

            Tablet PCs are playing a growing role in helping workers monitor industrial processes as they move around a factory. Smart watches may soon prove equally useful.

            To showcase the application potential of smart watches, Tesla, a company that enables real-time mobile SCADA access to industrial communications platforms using OPC UA technology and the Android operating system, recently participated in a…

            Events Update

              The OPC Foundation conducts and attends several events throughout the year that showcase OPC technology and its member’s solutions. See what’s coming up next and what you may have missed.

              New Product Releases

                Check out the latest product releases from our members:

                ● National Instruments LabVIEW : enabling OPC communications in LabVIEW-based systems

                ● Kepware Technologies and Splunk alliance : accelerating new insights from industrial data

                ● Kepware Technologies KEPServerEX update : improving big data analytics

                ● Kepware Technologies local historian plug-in : improving operating efficiency

                The OPC Foundation and BACnet Interest Group Europe Collaboration

                  By Tom Burke, President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation

                  This edition of the OPC Connect newsletter focuses on OPC engagement with building automation.

                  Since October 2012, we have had an active working group and collaboration between BACnet Interest Group Europe and the OPC Foundation. The fruits of the labor of this working group are about to be released as a companion specification at the end of this year.

                  This issue begins to highlight some of the success stories that we already have from our OPC vendors deploying products that solve critical integration opportunities between industrial automation and building automation.

                  Mapping BACnet to OPC UA

                    by Frank Schubert, Vice Chairman of the Working Group Technique; Member of the BACnet Interest Group Europe Advisory Board

                    The OPC Foundation and BACnet Interest Group Europe founded a common working group to specify a mapping profile between BACnet and OPC UA. This article introduces the basics to understand the mapping between these two technologies.

                    In the working group the members identified the most commonly expected use-cases. The first approach included in the current documents is a mapping of building automation data from BACnet devices and represent them through a mapping device in OPC UA.

                    Compliance Corner

                      By Nathan Pocock, Director of Compliance

                      In our last newsletter we reported a high number of test failures. Products are generally passing Compliance, Interoperability, and Usability on first attempt; application crashes and resource leaks continue to be the cause of most failures. In response, we released Certification Resource Efficiency Testing to provide step-by-step guidance on how to conduct high quality robustness, recovery, and stress testing within your own lab environment.

                      Certified OPC products are ideal for production use because they have been tested by the OPC Foundation Certification Test Lab for compliance, interoperability, usability, but most importantly: robust error handling and recovery that will provide years of reliable operations, greatly reducing the costly risks of unavailability and/or shutdown.

                      University of Texas at Austin Physical Plant Realizes “Astronomical” Cost Savings Using InduSoft Web Studio and OPC UA

                        By Richard Clark, InduSoft

                        The University of Texas at Austin campus is large — something on the order of a small city. The campus has every type of physical environment imaginable. From Opera Halls to Football Stadiums. From Foreign Language Classrooms to Research Laboratories. From Restaurants to Hospitals and Medical Training Facilities. Now imagine having to provide for all that, steam for electricity and heating, chilled water for cooling, emergency power, deionized water and pressurized air for an area of buildings, offices and classrooms covering an area of 17 million square feet.

                        In an interview with Juan Ontiveros, Executive Director, “We had a manual process for taking meter readings. The infrastructure was built using PLCs and smart electric meters and networking them around Campus. Data gathering from these devices began in 2006 originally using OPC DA technology and a process historian that the Department already owned. MS Excel was used to run energy reports off the historian. It was a very expensive time-consuming and labor intensive process, taking sometimes weeks to produce a bill for just one of the buildings.”