Bridging the gap between communication and semantics for Industrie 4.0 – Companion Specification “AutomationML for OPC UA”


For Immediate Release

Briding the gap between communication and semantics for Industrie4.0

OPC Foundation and AutomationML released Companion Specification “AutomationML for OPC UA”

Scottsdale, AZ – March 13, 2016 – The OPC Foundation, dedicated to ensuring interoperability in automation by creating and maintaining open specifications, and the AutomationML association, targeting the lossless exchange of engineering information along the engineering tool chain, release the companion specification “AutomationML for OPC UA” to realize interoperability within smarter factories of the future.

AutomationML™ is a data exchange standard for engineering data standardized in IEC 62814. It provides a family of standards to make engineering tools interoperable in order to decrease costs for data exchange, transforming data from one engineering tool to another, etc.


OPC UA is a family of technologies intended to exchange information between different industrial control systems on different control layers in a standardized way. OPC-UA provides a most advanced and widely used system to connect field control devices with higher control layers.

Industrie 4.0 and the factory of the future mandate interoperability of devices, machines, controllers and IT systems from different vendors. They must communicate and interact in an efficient way.

This requires not only that they can talk to each other, but also that they understand what their counterpart is saying. OPC UA deals with the communication, AutomationML with the content interpretation.

With the combination of AutomationML and OPC UA it is possible to communicate live and engineering data containing information about the status of a conveyor as well as about its abilities – the factory gets smarter. Furthermore, the OPC UA system configuration can be transferred to AutomationML models. These two use cases reduce manual engineering effort and provide new possibilities to deal with smart data e.g. for predictive maintenance or – in general – data analytics in the factory.

The joint working group of the AutomationML e.V. and the OPC Foundation which consists of well-known companies and research institutes from IT and automation has dealt with this topic since 2014.

The Release Version 1.00.00 of the Companion Specification „AutomationML for OPC UA“ was published on February 22, 2016. You can find the specification document and corresponding nodesets and examples on the OPC Foundation Website:


The specification describes how to model AutomationML based information sets using OPC-UA information model and how to transmit them.


Dr.-Ing. Miriam Schleipen from Fraunhofer IOSB – head of the joint working group – states that „Plug-and-work is possible if we combine the description of items within production systems by AutomationML, the provision of this description in an OPC UA information model and the secured communication of this information via OPC-UA. Interoperability and the seamless semantic integration become reality.”


Further information about the working group and its members:


About AutomationML

The AutomationML initiative is an open and industrial consortium established in 2006 and transferred to a German association in 2009. It has now 34 members from different industrial areas with leading members like ABB, Daimler, Kuka, Siemens, and Volkswagen.

Main aim of the association is the development, distribution, and adoption of the AutomationML data format, a XML based, neutral, open, free of charge, and vendor independent industrial standard for the company wide and trans-disciplinary exchange of engineering information along the tool chain of engineering organizations of manufacturing and process industries. Therefore AutomationML does not establish a completely new data format but applies, adapts, extends, and integrates existing ones. Thereby, up to now, plant planning and engineering information such as system topology information, geometry and kinematics information and control behavior information can be exchanged. Thus, AutomationML is the currently most advanced and broadly applicable data format for plant engineering and construction which is successfully applied within different practical application cases.

AutomationML was established as international standard IEC 62714.

The AutomationML association assists users of the AutomationML data format with the design and implementation of tool interfaces based on AutomationML by providing software packages, knowledge, and training. Information material and software systems related to AutomationML can be downloaded free of charge from



About The OPC Foundation

Since 1996, the OPC Foundation has facilitated the development and adoption of the OPC information exchange standards.  As both advocate and custodian of these specifications, the Foundation’s mission is to help industry vendors, end-users, and software developers maintain interoperability in their manufacturing and automation assets.  The organization serves over 450 members worldwide in the Industrial Automation, Building Automation, Oil & Gas, and Smart Energy sectors.
For more information about the OPC Foundation, please visit