Scottsdale, March 7, 2017 – VDMA’s Robotics Division and the OPC Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop an OPC UA Robotics Companion Specification as part of the VDMA conference “Industrie 4.0 – Standards in Applications” that was held on Feb 1st, 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany.
A decision was made that the best way from the robotics manufacturers perspective to achieve the realization of machine to machine(M2M) communication necessary for Industrie 4.0 would be to leverage the extensive infrastructure of OPC UA.
“Robotics is a core element for Industrie 4.0. With the development of an OPC UA Companion Specification for robotics, we are making a significant leap forward in the implementation of Industrie 4.0” said Dr. Michael Wenzel, chairman of the VDMA division robotics. First discussions, which information, data, functions and services are to be integrated into a production network and are to be mapped in OPC UA, have already been conducted. An initial meeting of the working group to develop the obese UA companion specification met at VDMA in Frankfurt am Main on 13 February 2017.
OPC UA is the communication and information integration technology for Industrie 4.0 Stefan Hoppe, Global Vice President of the OPC Foundation explains: “The goal of the OPC Foundation is to create an industrial interoperability standard for secured horizontal and vertical integration from the sensor to the IT enterprise level, from the industrial automation sector, but is also used in other vertical markets, regardless of the industry. OPC UA is set up as the communication and information integration technology of the reference architecture of Industrie 4.0 and allows data and services of devices or machines to be securely described”.
One of the key elements of OPC UA is to provide a rich service-oriented architecture (SOA) that allows easy information integration between machines and robotic equipment at a horizontal and vertical level. OPC UA is well positioned and has been internationally recognized as the standard for providing complete discovery and information integration services from the sensor to the cloud. The robotics manufacturers will benefit from the OPC UA technology to be seamlessly plugged into previously disconnected devices and applications.
“The OPC Foundation is all about collaboration”, says Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation President and Executive Director. “The extensive work that VDMA has done with all the robotics manufacturers defining a standardized information model aligns well with the OPC Foundation collaboration vision, and we expect a OPC UA companion specification will be easily rolled out by the joint working group allowing seamless information integration from the robots directly to the cloud via the OPC UA technology.”
VDMA guide to OPC UA provides guidance
Within the VDMA, more and more areas are being integrated with the OPC Unified Architecture. A VDMA guide “Industrial 4.0 Communication with OPC UA” is currently under construction. It is intended to support machine and plant construction during the introduction and to give recommendations for action. “Our goal is to provide a clear commitment to OPC UA in the Industrie 4.0 communication with the guide. This leads to the reduction of the barriers of small and medium-sized enterprises in the establishment and expansion of the I4.0 communication “, said Dr. Christian Mosch, of the VDMA-Forum Industrie 4.0.
About VDMA Robotics
The VDMA is the largest industrial association in Europe and has more than 3,100 member companies from the investment goods industry and mechanical and plant engineering. As part of the VDMA-Fachverband Robotik + Automation, VDMA Robotik currently has 78 members: manufacturers of robotics and system integrators. The aim of this industry-driven platform is to support the robotics industry through numerous activities and services. The main areas of work are: Statistical analyzes, marketing activities, public relations, networking events and standardization activities.
For further information, please visit: http://robotik.vdma.org/
About 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 provides 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 organization serves over 470 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, please visit: www.opcfoundation.org
Reinhard Heister, VDMA Robotics + Automation
Phone: +49 69 6603-1163
Dr. Christian Mosch, VDMA Forum Industrie 4.0,
Phone: +49 69 6603-1939
Stefan Hoppe, Global Vice President OPC Foundation