Methodologies and tools for software development and management: OPC-UA


Fri 05 Feb 2016

Event description

Fourth meeting on methodologies and tools for software development and management, dedicated to OPC-UA (Unified Architecture), the new generation standard for “vendor neutral” and “platform independent” data exchange of the OPC Foundation.

OPC UA is establishing itself as the standard (IEC 62541) most accredited in industrial communications, on which to base the evolution of corporate strategies towards the technological paradigms Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

In recent years, the number of devices and information systems interconnected within a modern manufacturing company has continued to grow. The need to enable the exchange of information and the collaboration between interconnected “objects” has revealed the lack of a homogeneous layer of communication and standardized interfaces and models for data exchange. OPC-UA, conceived on the basis of a service-oriented architecture (SOA), makes the information available for all authorized applications, at any time and in any place, regardless of the manufacturer from which the applications originate and the programming language in which they were developed.

The “smart factory“, to fully embrace the concepts underlying the IIoT and the technological paradigms contained in the Industry 4.0 concept, cannot ignore the adoption of a standard solution for connectivity, which allows to obtain the best performance in terms of of integration and operations. It is necessary to fully integrate the factory architecture that is horizontal between the “objects” and the applications in the field, and vertical between the different levels of the company systems (PLC, SCADA, MES, ERP), from the basic levels of supervision and control, up to the level of enterprise information systems, passing through operations management systems. The concept of “smart factory” was created to improve efficiency and productivity, control real-time business processes, create new services for its customers, guarantee higher product quality, and reduce the costs of certain activities, such as maintenance .

The biggest challenge facing us is to ensure interoperability between the devices and other players in the system. The industrial scenario is, to date, still characterized by a strong complexity and fragmentation: the presence of a large number of actors, often closed systems incapable of communicating with the outside, of heterogeneous technologies and data structures, considerably complicate the diffusion of the IIoT. The OPC Foundation has taken up the challenge trying to create a new standard, the OPC-UA, capable of meeting the requirements necessary for the implementation of increasingly complex M2M systems.

The ever increasing diffusion of OPC-UA demonstrates the excellent performance in terms of security, reliability and scalability that the standard is able to guarantee. It is in fact a “platform independent” standard, compatible with all communication protocols that support TCP-IP, which is evolving from a simple data transmission system to a tool that offers an encrypted data exchange path with advanced features for the creation of complex and distributed networks without the need for manual configuration. These features make it a solution that allows providing a method of unified access to supervision and control.

The objective of the work table is to stimulate the comparison of the experiences gained by CRIT members on the OPC-UA standard.

The work table is reserved for CRIT member companies.

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