It is apparent today that the service-oriented architecture of OPC UA (Unified Architecture) will be a building block for the development of Industrie 4.0. In particular for communication with devices such as operator stations via the controller level or for production data from devices to corporate IT, especially in an environment with different providers. OPC UA becomes the link for the non-deterministic communication between different types of devices on this level and between levels. PROFINET takes over the transmission or deterministic real-time data and control-relevant acyclic data in automation systems. PROFINET and OPC UA are therefore already a perfect complement to one another today because PROFINET allows open communication based on TCP/IP in parallel without additional expense. For example: automation of a screwdriver control in real-time using PROFINET. Quality data such as tightening torques can then be transmitted to the quality management systems over the same cable via OPC UA.
PI Chairman Karsten Schneider is looking forward to the cooperation with OPC Foundation on the future-oriented subject: “In PI we see OPC UA as a complementary technology for PROFINET, the leading Industrial Ethernet standard in automation. The ability to run both services in one network will open entirely new possibilities and will be the foundation for mega trends like IIoT and Industrie 4.0.”
Thomas Burke, President of the OPC Foundation, sees a number of synergies in the cooperation with PI: “The collaboration between PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) and the OPC Foundation provides the solution for information integration and interoperability from the embedded world to the enterprise. Suppliers and end-users alike will benefit from this collaboration, and is part of the continuum of the partnership between the organizations reflected in other initiatives inclusive of FDI.”