OPC Foundation and ECLASS collaborate to advance M2M interoperability


The combination of OPC UA functionality and the ECLASS semantic dictionary is poised to accelerate the start of true industrial interoperability

Scottsdale, AZ – November 24th, 2020 – An important step for interoperability in the field of M2M communication: the OPC Foundation and ECLASS e.V. signed a cooperation agreement.
The goal of this cooperation is to combine the power of the OPC UA and ECLASS standards to better enable M2M interoperability via seamless communication of data and semantics using a standardized set of interfaces. To serve as the basis for semantic interoperability across full product life cycles in an international application environment, a manufacturer and industry independent standard for product description is needed. Once created, such a standard can serve as a semantic reference for the Internet of Things. The ECLASS standard, developed by ECLASS e.V. meets these requirements in a unique way.

The OPC UA standard enables secure transmission of data and facilitates the definition and dynamic exchange of its underlying structure via robust OPC UA information modeling functionality. Standardized information models implemented using OPC UA are called OPC UA Companion Specifications, which taken together can serve as common libraries of Information Models. Products utilizing OPC UA Companion Specifications enable seamless 3rd party data interoperability in the operating phase in the product lifecycle. Today, ECLASS identifiers are already being used in various Companion Specifications.

“We believe in the vision of a fully networked, but above all interoperable world. With the OPC Foundation, we have gained one of the strongest players in the Industry 4.0 environment as a partner. We look forward to working together to better integrate the OPC UA standards with the ECLASS standard”, says Markus Reigl, chairman of the board ECLASS e.V..
Stefan Hoppe, President OPC Foundation commented “Beyond enabling secure information exchange, OPC UA has also become the ‘go-to’ standard for describing control automation services, devices and machines across all industries via its robust information modeling capabilities.” Mr. Hoppe continued “The universal nature of OPC UA modeling enables working groups to readily leverage external dictionaries like ECLASS to achieve semantic interoperability. I look forward to collaborating with ECLASS to help us reach our common goal faster.”

ECLASS is internationally established as the only ISO/IEC-compliant industry standard and is thus the worldwide reference-data standard for the classification and unambiguous description of products and services. More than 4,000 customers are already successfully using the 45,000 classes and 19,000 properties of ECLASS in 16 languages for digital data exchange. In addition to traditional applications in procurement, controlling, production and distribution, ECLASS demonstrates its particular strengths when used for cross-enterprise process-data management and in engineering functions. A standardized master-data system is the key to enterprise-wide improvements, producing benefits along the entire value chain.
The ECLASS e.V. association, founded in 2000, is a non-profit organization run by companies, associations and institutions from a wide variety of industries and trade sectors. Their common goal is to expand the ECLASS standard in line with current and future market requirements and promote its international application. For more information about ECLASS , please visit https://eclass.eu/

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 OPC Foundation is dedicated to providing the best specifications, technology, process, and certification to achieve multivendor, multiplatform, secure, reliable interoperability for moving data and information from the embedded world to the enterprise cloud. The Foundation serves over 790 members worldwide in the Industrial Automation, IT, IoT, IIoT, M2M, Industrie 4.0, Building Automation, machine tools, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and Smart Energy sectors. For more information about the OPC Foundation, please visit https://opcfoundation.org


Stefan Hoppe
President and Executive Director
OPC Foundation