See the comprehensive history on one PDF file here.
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Microsoft operating systems dominate the industrial automation landscape. Automation vendors begin using Microsoft’s COM and DCOM in their product offerings.  1990s
1995 Automation vendors Fisher-Rosemount, Intellution, Opto 22 and Rockwell Software form a task force to develop a standard for data access based on COM and DCOM, and call it OPC, an abbreviation for OLE (Microsoft Object Linking & Embedding) for Process Control.
The task force, established a year earlier, releases version 1.0 of a simplified OPC specification for Data Access (DA) in August. Within the first year, several other software and hardware vendors began using OPC as their mechanism for interoperability. It soon becomes clear that a more formalized organization of compliance, interoperability, certification and validation is necessary.
OPC Foundation officially incorporated on April 22, 1996.
1998 The OPC Foundation begins converting its existing specification to web services.
OPC Alarms & Events (OPC AE) specification is released. 1999
2001 OPC Historical Data Access (OPC HDA), Batch and Security specification are released.
OPC Complex Data, Data eXchange and XML-DA specifications are released.

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA), comprising of 13 separate parts, is created by the OPC Foundation.

The first OPC UA working group meeting was held on November 3-7, 2003.

The original OPC specification is now referred to as “Classic OPC” or OPC Classic.

2004 OPC Commands specification is released.
OPC UA version 1.0 becomes available on July 28th, 2006. 2006
2007 OPC Certification Program and Test Labs are introduced.
Automation vendors begin offering the first products based on OPC UA.
OPC UA version 1.01 becomes available.
OPC UA for Analyzer Devices (ADI) is released as a companion specification driven by the Pharma and Chemical manufacturing industries.
2010 The first embedded OPC UA devices are released.
OPC UA for IEC 61131 is released as a companion specification.
IEC 62541 is released (UA). 2012
2013 OPC UA 1.02 is released.
OPC UA for ISA-95 is released.
OPC UA for Devices 1.01 is released.
The OPC Foundation supports over 480 members across China, Europe, Japan and North America.
OPC UA v1.03 released
IEC 62541:2015 Version releasedIndustrie4.0 reference architecture Modell (RAMI4.0) is listing OPC UA for communication layer
VDMA set goal to develop standardized Information models for Factory Automation with OPC UA
2016 OPC Lab in Europe establishedAutoId companion specification for identification devices like barcode, OCR, 2D code, RFID, NFC, RTLS, sensors and mobile computing
PLC FunctionBlocks for OPC UA based controller-controller communication.
The OPC Foundation supports over 490 members across China, Europe, Japan and North America.
MDIS companion specification: Oil and Gas standard for interfacing the Subsea Production Control System
CNC companion specification for interfacing Computerized Numerical Control Systems
FDI companion specification for host systems that manage field devices during their entire LifeCycle
VDMA published “Industrie4.0 Communication Guildeline based on OPC UA”
2018 OPC UA v1.04 released

Total of 18 companion specifications released including specifications for Energy Automation (based on IEC61850), Tobacco industry, multiple fieldbus mappings, PackML, AutomationML

About 20 working groups developing further OPC UA companion specifications for additional machines or Industries

The OPC Foundation supports over 636 members across China, Europe, Japan and North America.

OPCF launches Field Level Communications (FLC) initiative to extend OPC UA to the field with initial 23 members including all major automation vendors.

OPC 10000-100, UA for Devices, Version 1.02
OPC 40010-1, Robotics Part 1
OPC 30070-1, MTConnect Part 1
OPC 30200, Commercial Kitchen Equipment
OPC 40100-1, Machine Vision Companion Specification
New Working Groups
CIP Devices by ODVA
Mining Machinery by VDMA
Weihenstephan standards by Weihenstephan Standards, VDMA Food
ISA 100 by ISA 100 Wireless Compliance Institute (WCI)
Pumps and Vacuum Pumps by VDMA
Harmonization by OPC Foundation
Glass Industries by VDMA
Plastics and Rubber Machinery by VDMA
Surface Technology by VDMA
Woodworking Machinery by VDMA
StartOPC Hub India, Singapore/ASEAN, France
OPC Foundation membership
737 members (end 2019)
2020 Releases
OPC 30000 – IEC 61131-3, Version 1.2 PLCOpen
OPC 30260 – OpenSCS
OPC 30050 – PackML
OPC UA, Ellyptic Curve Cryptography
OPC 40501-2, UA for MachineTools, Part 1: Base Model
OPC 40001-1, UA for Machinery, Part 1: Basic Building Blocks
OPC 10000-200, UA for Industrial Automation
OPC 30010 – UA CS for AutoID, 1.01.07
OPC 40200, UA for Weighing Technology
OPC 30081, UA for Process Automation – PADIM
New Working Groups
Cranes and Hoists by VDMA
Length Measuring Systems (LMS) by VDMA
ISA-95 Version 2 by OPC Foundation
Fibre and Yarn Testing Devices (FYTD) by VDMA
Process Air Extraction and Filtration Systems – PAEFS by VDMA
M2X Intralogistics Communication by VDMA
Compressed Air Systems by VDMA
Cloud Library by CESMII,
LADS – Laboratory and Analytical Device Standard by Spectaris
Machinery Common Model by VDMA
OPC Foundation membership
803 members (end 2020)
OPC 40001-1, UA for Machinery, Part 1: Basic Build. Blocks – 1.01
OPC 30141 – PROFIenergy
OPC 40084-12 – Extrusion – Calender
OPC 10000-100 – OPC UA for Devices, v1.03
OPC 11031-4 – ISA-95 Job Order OPC 30261 – OpenSCS Job Orders
OPC 40223 – Pumps and Vacuum Pumps
OPC 40083 – PlasticsRubber – General Types
OPC 30270 – UA for Asset Administration Shell (AAS)
OPC 40250-1, UA for Compressed Air Systems
OPC 10000-200, UA for Industrial Automation, v1.01
OPC 40600 – Weihenstephan Standards
New Working Groups
ISA-95 Version 2
Fibre and Yarn Testing Devices (FYTD)
Process Air Extraction and Filtration Systems – PAEFS
LADS – Laboratory and Analytical Device Standard
M2X Intralogistics Communication
Cranes and Hoists
Length Measuring Systems (LMS)
Cloud Federation
OPC Foundation membership
840 members (Aug 2021)
2022 Releases

  • OPC 10000-1..24, OPC UA v1.05
  • OPC 10000-100, Device Model v1.03
  • OPC 10000-110, Asset Mgmt Basics
  • OPC 10000-200, Industrial Automation v1.01
  • OPC 30400-1..2, Cloud Library
  • OPC 30080, FDI v1.03
  • OPC 30142, PROFINET-RemoteIO
  • OPC 40001-1 Machinery Basic Building Blocks v1.02
  • OPC 40501-1 Machine Tools v1.01
  • OPC 40084-1..12 PlasticsRubber-Extrusion v2.00
  • OPC 30060 Tobacco Machinery v2.00
  • OPC 4056n Mining

New Working Groups

  • Power Consumption Mgmt
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Analyzer System Integration
  • Global Positioning

Foundation membership
895 members (Sept 2022)