OPC-UA-Integration of AutoID-Devices towards “Industry 4.0”
Within the last two years OPC Foundation and AIM-D e.V. created the AIM OPCF AutoID companion specification in the AIM working group “System Integration” with the aim to integrate AutoID devices into the OPC UA world. A first version of the paper was presented at the Hanover Industrial Fair 2015. At the Hanover Industrial Fair 2016 the updated Version 1.0 was presented – including the description of first prototypes and applications as well as incorporating the cloud-capacity of AutoID systems and sensor networks which become more and more important for the concept of industry 4.0.
RFID, but also other AutoID processes, are key technologies for the implementation of the philosophy of industry 4.0. The more important it becomes to integrate these technologies as simple as possible into total solutions. Therefore AIM-D e.V. (Association for Automatic Data Capture, Identification and Mobility), responsible for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, defined standards on the basis of an OPC UA.
This Companion Specification lists the contribution AutoID technologies back to a common communication interface or a common data model. It includes the essential functionality including data type descriptions of individual variables, transfer and return parameters. The advantage of such a Companion Specification: the more manufacturers follow this recommendation and implement their communication interfaces accordingly, the faster different AutoID devices can become connected into new applications, even from different manufacturers. This saves time and increases investment protection of customers. The specifications can be expand, due to the object-oriented approach of OPC UA, so that producers retain their features, but can still benefit from a wide communication base. For example, all AutoID technologies include a scanning method which, for example, identifies new bar codes or RFID transponders. How this data then will become interpreted in detail, varies depending on the technology, but can be technically still describe universally.
For system integrators or end users, this means they can significantly integrate outpacing different AutoID devices and different technologies from different vendors into a particular infrastructure. At the same time other important aspects of OPC UA such as increased safety or the possibility to combine servers and clients functionality in a single unit will become integrated.
- Assion Electonic
- Fraunhofer IIS
- Unified Automation
- Founded 1972 in USA, more than 700 members in 43 countries
- Represents the large majority of leading AutoID companies
- AIM-D: German chapter: more than 120 members, including automation specialists, technology provider, integrators, software engineers, and more
Managing Director of AIM-D e.V.
Phone: +49 6206 131 77