MTConnect

Semantic data and contextual models for factory floor devices

Overview

The OPC Foundation and the MTConnect organization have formed a joint working group to combine the popular OPC UA and MTConnect standards to create a complete industrial interoperability standard.

The MTConnect standard enables manufacturing equipment to provide data based on a common set of semantic definitions in structured XML rather than proprietary formats. Having uniform data opens up a world of new applications for industry. MTConnect data sources include things like production equipment, sensor packages, and other hardware. Applications using MTConnect data provide more efficient operations, improved production optimization, and increased productivity.

MTConnect is already a popular standard for machine tools, robotics, and other manufacturing equipment. By applying the MTConnect data model to OPC UA, connectivity and interoperability will be significantly increased. OPC UA exposes the MTConnect data standard providing connectivity with many popular SCADA and other software products on the factory floor and to the cloud.  OPC UA provides the security, scalability, and reliability required for industrial communications at all levels.

MTConnect-OPC UA is designed with the following first-class goals in mind, in the interest of wide and rapid adoption by vendors of equipment and software:

  • Incremental Adoption — the technical barrier to MTConnect-OPC UA enablement will be greatly reduced with this companion specification and the source code and binaries available in the MTConnect-OPC UA reference port.
  • Evolution — MTConnect-OPC UA can incrementally evolve without jeopardizing backwards compatibility of previous MTConnect-OPC UA versions.
  • Customizability – MTConnect-OPC UA’s extensibility makes it easy to create value-added software and tools that are machine-specific or installation-specific, without jeopardizing compatibility with other equipment or software.
  • Non-proprietary – built on open standards, backed by both the OPC Foundation and the MTConnect Institute which represents hundreds of companies, individuals, government organizations and non-profits all working toward the goal of increased productivity in the manufacturing arena.

Technical Content

The MTConnect-OPC UA standard addresses 4 use cases satisfying the requirements of device manufacturers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and end users. The following diagrams depict each of these use cases. A complete description of these use cases can be found in the current specification at http://www.mtconnect.org/documents/.

 mtconnect1

mtconnect2

mtconnect3

 

mtconnect4

 

 

Companies Behind

See the full roster of MTConnect Institute members at www.mtconnect.org/roster

Working Group Members:

  • Beeond, Inc.
  • TRAK Machine Tools
  • Vimana
  • FA Consulting
  • Stratasys

More Details

  • Download here: MTConnect OPC UA Companion Spec V1.00 (Released 2012)
  • Download here: MTConnect OPC UA Companion Spec V1.02 (Release Candidate 2013)
  • Access Specifications at https://www.mtconnect.org/opc-ua-companion-specification

Contact

  • OPC Foundation Paul Hunkar paul.hunkar_at_opcfoundation.org
  • OPC Foundation Stan Brubaker – stan.brubaker_at_beeond.net
  • MTConnect: Tom Copeland – tomc_at_TRAKMT.com
  • MTConnect: Russ Waddell – rwaddell_at_amtonline.org