The vending and coffee machine industry has chosen OPC UA for standardized, secure information exchange


European Vending & Coffee Service Association and OPC Foundation start Joint Working Group

Scottsdale, AZ – April 22nd, 2024 – The OPC Foundation, a global consortium that develops and maintains standards for industrial automation, together with the European Vending & Coffee Service Association (EVA) are pleased to announce the formation of a new joint working group called “OPC UA for Vending, Office Coffee Service & Automated Retail Working Group”. The group aims to develop an OPC UA Information Model for the communication between a vending machine, its peripherals, and the company’s information systems. A vending machine must be understood as a self-service machine that dispenses food (including drinks, such as coffee) and non-food products using different dispensing technologies.

Erwin Wetzel, Director General at the European Vending & Coffee Service Association (EVA) says, “In an era where technology seamlessly integrates into every aspect of our lives, the announcement of the joint OPC UA for Vending, Office Coffee Service & Automated Retail Working Group marks a pivotal moment for the vending and automated retail industry. This collaboration, spearheaded by the OPC Foundation and robustly supported by the EVA, signifies a monumental step towards revolutionizing the way vending machines, office coffee service machines, and automated retail systems interact with their peripherals and company information systems.”

Jürgen Göbel, Business Development Director at Ingenico says, “From a vendor perspective, EVA’s collaboration with OPC UA will reduce technical fragmentation in the industry and enable the implementation of new digital services based on a harmonized standard. This reduces the costs of developing and maintaining new services and solutions for the benefit of operators and consumers.”

“The collaboration with the European Vending & Coffee Service Association (EVA) represents another historic milestone for the OPC Foundation,” said Stefan Hoppe, President of the OPC Foundation. “OPC UA was created by a handful of manufacturers in the process automation space and has become the world’s leading standard for assured semantic interoperability in manufacturing, process, and energy technology. With the creation of this new joint working group, we are bringing this rich ecosystem to the huge world of the vending and coffee machine industry.”

The commitment to developing an OPC UA Information Model is not just an advancement; it’s a necessary evolution. In the current landscape, the limitations of current protocols have been a bottleneck for innovation and efficiency. By harmonizing the communication protocols and data exchange between machines and their peripherals, this initiative promises to overcome these challenges, paving the way for a future where machines from different manufacturers can communicate effortlessly, and data flow is as smooth as the products dispensed.

The goal of this working group transcends mere technical upgrades; it aims at future-proofing the industry against the rapidly changing market demands and technological advancements.

Within the framework of the OPC UA Joint Working Group, this standard is being developed as the so-called OPC UA Companion Specification for vending and office coffee machines. The goal of the working group is to develop a new specification to overcome the limitation of the current protocols (e.g. MDB, Executive, BDV, etc.) that will harmonize the communication and the exchange of data between machines designed to dispense a product (e.g. vending machine, professional hot drinks machine, smart fridge), its peripherals (payment system, telemetry, age verification, touch screen), and the back office on premises or cloud IT systems (ERP, etc.). The purpose is to ensure mutual compatibility between devices from different manufacturers and to align with todays and future market requests.

The European Vending & Coffee Service Association and the OPC Foundation invite its members to participate in this working group.

About European Vending & Coffee Service Association
The EVA is a not-for-profit trade association established in 1994, representing the interests of the whole European coffee service and vending industry vis-à-vis the European Union Institutions and other relevant authorities or bodies. The EVA is an international association governed by Belgian law and its membership comprises both National Associations and companies.
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About the OPC Foundation
The OPC Foundation has been promoting the development and adoption of the OPC information exchange standard since 1996. As an advocate and steward of these specifications, the OPC Foundation’s mission is to help vendors, end users, and software developers achieve interoperability of their manufacturing and automation resources. The OPC Foundation’s mission is to provide the best specifications, technologies, processes, and certification to ensure interoperability between different vendors and different platforms securely and reliably from embedded systems to the enterprise cloud. The Foundation supports over 980 members from around the world in industrial automation, IT, IoT, IIoT, M2M, Industry 4.0, building automation, machine tools, pharmaceuticals, petrochemical, and smart energy in achieving this goal.
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Stefan Hoppe
President and Executive Director
OPC Foundation