NODE’s 2014 strategy meeting decided to strive for a common industry standard for interoperability, modelled on the telecom and banking sectors. These sectors have agreed on common standards for data exchange and solved related security issues.
OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture) is a communication protocol for industrial equipment and systems for data collection and control. Today OPC UA is chosen as an interoperability standard by major suppliers, such as Bosch Rexroth, Beckhoff, Siemens, Microsoft and many more. It is also the basis for Germany’s Industrie 4.0 program.
“OPC UA enables easy and secure exchange of information between different platforms, allowing seamless integration of these platforms without costly and time-consuming software development,” says Jan Helge Viste, Project Manager Digitalization at GCE NODE.
“As the de-facto communication technology for Industrie 4.0, OPC UA is crucial to achieve the next level of connectivity and interoperability,” Viste adds.
OPC UA is the basis for secure and seamless data exchange in a digital value chain. Many companies within the energy and maritime sectors have implemented OPC UA and expect their suppliers to be able to adapt their products and services to this industrial standard.
“OPC UA will be an important enabler for new and smarter business models, in which easy data flow between the different players is a prerequisite to succeed”, says Viste.
WEBINARS THIS FALL
In cooperation with Prediktor, GCE NODE plans a series of webinars on OPC UA, starting in September/October. Focus will be on how to utilize OPC UA. The course will be adapted to NODE companies’ need to become more digital and to securely participate in an interconnected industrial value chain.
“The webinars are an important measure to increase the competence of employees who are experts on equipment and processes, and an alternative to hiring programmers who would have to acquire domain knowledge,” says Viste.
Espen Krogh, Chairman at Prediktor, a Norwegian ICT company, explains how OPC UA offers a way for operators, suppliers, service providers and others to share data.
“OPC UA is the only real-time interoperability standard designed to host foreign semantic models, thereby facilitating interoperability on a higher level. Before OPC UA you needed to punch a big hole in the firewall to share data. With OPC UA all you need is a pinprick to get the data through,” says Krogh.