Welcome to the June 2016 edition of the OPC Connect newsletter! This edition of the newsletter features many exciting announcements from our sponsors, the OPC community and the OPC Foundation itself. Many significant things have happened since the March edition of our newsletter from a marketing, technical and organizational perspective.
The OPC Foundation has elected Microsoft to the Board of Directors of the OPC Foundation, which represents many of the world’s most prominent global suppliers. The new board seat, which will be held by Microsoft Director of IoT Business Development Matt Vasey, is an extension of Microsoft’s support for OPC Foundation since the company first became a member in 1995.
Microsoft has taken the initiative to port the existing OPC UA C# Stack to the Windows 10 Universal Core. And along with the OPC Foundation, have worked closely together over the last number of months to deeply integrate OPC UA into the Azure IoT Suite. OPC UA is an essential component of the connected products that manufacturing customers need today, and it is increasingly seen as an important part of enterprise IoT scenarios and business models. In keeping with their commitment to openness and collaboration, Microsoft is fully committed to supporting OPC UA and its evolution.
During Hannover Fair, the BSI (German Federal Office for Security in information Technology) published their results of an OPC UA security analysis with respect to its relevance in the German Industrie 4.0 initiative. The results are publicized on the BSI and on the OPC Foundation websites. A statement from the BSI reads: “An extensive analysis of the security functions in the specification of OPC UA confirmed that OPC UA was designed with a focus on security and does not contain systematic security vulnerabilities.”
There were two main takeaways from this year’s Hannover Fair: one, the omnipresence of OPC UA on many of the booths; and two, the collaborations signed with many different organizations. It seemed like everywhere you looked at the Hannover Fair, there was and OPC logo. On the collaboration front, the OPC Foundation has been busy solidifying OPC UA as the networking standard for Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, when open this June, at 57 km will be the longest railway tunnel in the world. OPC UA was defined as the standardized interface between the tunnel management system and the electromechanical systems. Given the need to integrate sixteen different facilities from different suppliers, it was vital to use a platform-neutral, standardized and uniform protocol. This case study from Siemens is accompanied by a list of 11 of their products with OPC UA on board.
CIAT, situated in the Rhone-Alpes region of France in Culoz, has been an expert producer of air conditioning, refrigeration and heating units for 80 years. They implemented ICONICS’ GENESIS64™ and OPC UA Server Suite, across their entire building following a three-month pilot program. Also, ICONICS recently introduced its new IoT Gateway Suite, and enhanced integration with the next generation of Microsoft Azure cloud platform and services.
In the past, Lenze used to rely on the OPC Classic to enable access to device data. However, as this standard no longer covers advanced requirements, the company opted for the development of an OPC UA Server. This was achieved using a Toolkit from Softing. Also, Softing’s new white paper discusses OPC UA Publisher / Subscriber communication for IIoT and outlines details on a proof-of-concept implementation.
DCI Technologies needed a reliable method for tapping into their radios’ serial diagnostics data remotely so that troubleshooting could occur without having to visit each individual site. To meet the end goal of providing an open solution, they considered several rapid protocol modeling solutions providing standard interfaces such as OPC DA, OPC UA and DDE. In the end, their chosen solution was the OmniServer OPC and I/O Server from Software Toolbox.
It’s no secret down on the shop floor, or in the upper echelons of management, that IT and OT don’t always see eye to eye. For decades, the business computing world of Information Technology (IT) has been growing and evolving separately from the Operational Technology (OT) world. Be that as it may, these two worlds are now poised to make contact. Businesses are waking up to the value of the data that’s coming from production systems.