The OPC Foundation working groups are essential for the development of industry-leading specifications, technologies, certification and processes. The focus of these working groups is to provide the deliverables that are adopted by the OPC community into real-world products and services. Meetings are generally conducted online and occasionally in person.
Members have the opportunity to participate in Working Groups to ensure that their unique technology needs are considered by the industry-at-large. This approach allows the OPC Foundation, through the participation of its members as marketing and engineering resources, to move the standard forward to meet the technology challenges of tomorrow. See the OPC Foundation Collaboration SharePoint site for details on how to join a group.
Working groups in which the OPC Foundation partners with other standards organizations are identified as collaborations.
Compliance Working Group (CWG) – Responsible for the OPC Foundation Compliance program. This group analyzes OPC specifications to determine how products are to be tested for compliance. The group meets weekly to discuss test procedures, Compliance Lab standard operating procedures, and to continually update and enhance the Compliance Test Tools.
ISA-95 Working Group – Responsible for the definition and maintenance of the ISA-95 OPC UA information model. The first release (in early 2013) of the ISA-95 OPC UA companion specification includes support for the following ISA-95 models: Physical Assets, Equipment, Personnel and Material Handling. This mapping of the abstract ISA-95 model provides a high-speed, secure information flow from the lowest levels of the automation hierarchy to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. ISA-95 was developed for transferring information in Level 3 and 4 of the enterprise; the OPC UA mapping allows this information to be securely transferred between levels 3 and 4 and to be extended down to Level 2 of the enterprise.
PLCopen Working Group – A joint effort between PLCopen and the OPC Foundation to develop an OPC UA information model companion specification for IEC 61131-3. While many vendors already provide controllers that conform to IEC 61131-3, there is no standard that describes how a controller should communicate with applications external to the controller. The first release of the companion specification provides native OPC UA function blocks that support the OPC UA information model inside any IEC 61131 compliant device.
Technical Advisory Council (TAC) – This group is comprised of leaders and visionaries from major automation suppliers and core OPC Foundation members. They advise Foundation management on current and future technical matters and provide guidance on overall technical direction. Specific tasks include commissioning new work and final release approval of deliverables from all technical working groups.
Unified Architecture Working Group – Responsible for defining and maintaining the OPC UA specifications, including enhancements for transactional support, global discovery and increased reliability. Additionally, base architecture enhancements are evaluated for extensibility into other companion specifications (e.g. information modeling; adding native OPC UA data types).
Contact the OPC Foundation to learn more about membership or to join one of the Working Groups.