Today we have a report from an ABB guest blogger,Martin Hollender. Martin is the author of the Collaborative Process Automation Book (CPAS) recently published by ISA. He recently attended an OPC Day in Germany and had the following report:
"OPC Foundation Europe has held an OPC Day on May 25, 2011 at SAP Headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. Interest was much higher than anticipated with more than 200 participants. Focus was on OPC-UA (Unified Architecture). Key advantages of OPC-UA are:
- A standardized, platform independent, and secure interface running over TCP/IP to all kind of devices, even small embedded controllers.
- An object modeling mechanism including a type system as a sound basis for the implementation of semantically rich domain models.
- OPC-UA comes both in high-performance and in firewall/internet-friendly flavors.
ABB’s Achim Laubenstein presented the Field Device Integration (FDI) cooperation which will harmonize the FDT and EDDL device integration technologies. FDI servers will be based on OPC-UA. Wolfgang Mahnke, author of the book OPC Unified Architecture presented OPC-UA information modeling capabilities with the example of analyzer device integration (ADI). ADI makes it much easier to integrate analyzers into process controllers and gives users more freedom of choice. ABB eXtended PAT (xPAT) support OPC-UA today and will support ADI in the near future.
The most remarkable thing about the OPC day was that it was hosted by SAP, a leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) vendor. In the past, an OPC day would have mainly attracted automation vendors and users. The ongoing success of the classic OPC standards combined with the superior new technical capabilities of OPC-UA make it an ideal glue technology between ISA95 layers 3 and 4. Therefore OPC becomes attractive for new players like ERP and MES vendors."
This is interesting on many levels. What do you think of this trend?