The robotics division of VDMA, the German Engineering Federation, is partnering with OPC Foundation to help create an OPC Unified Architecture Robotics Companion Specification.
VDMA Robotics is aiming to reach the levels of machine-to-machine communication required for Industrie 4.0. To do this, the division will leverage OPC United Architecture.
“Robotics is a core element for Industrie 4.0,” said Michael Wenzel, chairman of the VDMA division robotics. “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.”
OPC Foundation and VDMA Robotics have commenced discussions around which information, data, functions and services will be integrated into a production network and mapped in the OPC UA.
“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,” said Stefan Hoppe, global vice president of OPC Foundation. “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.”
OPC UA will provide VDMA Robotics with a rich service-oriented architecture, making it easy to integrate information between machines and robotic equipment. The united architecture will also help seamlessly connect previously devices and applications.
“The OPC Foundation is all about collaboration,” says Thomas Burke, OPC Foundation’s president and executive director. “The extensive work that VDMA has done with all the robotics manufacturers defining a standardised 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.”