TSN and OPC at Hannover Fair – Any Other News?

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OPC UA wherever you look. This was my first impression at Hanover Fair, which just closed its doors for 2017. With the rise of Industrie 4.0 and the IIoT, OPC UA came into focus of all industries and so came the products which support it. Well-deserved of course. And then there is TSN – another attention-grabber for the fair visitors. Although not quite as ready as OPC UA, the promise for a standardized real-time Ethernet solution is a big attraction. At least for the vendors. If you mention OPC UA and TSN in the same sentence, the fascination multiplies of course. So with all this buzz, was there any other news? Anything from PI?

Indeed, there was. We also presented our TSN strategy. We can even proudly say, we will blend very well with OPC UA. Now and in the future. With or without TSN. OPC UA will be our strategy for Controller-Controller communication, while PROFINET is best suited for Controller-Device communication. It is the best of two worlds.

But this is only half the battle, the communication – the other half is data semantics. This is the holy grail for IIoT. If you only have raw data, it will be hard to create new business models with it. But if you have semantic information, the value of data multiplies. Now you can start with big data analytics and the like. At PI, we have a long-standing history of defining syntax and semantics for data. Our PA Profile is proof of that. At this fair, we announced a new cooperation with eCl@ss. They are well known in standardizing product master data, e.g. for purchasing. We plan to leverage both our expertise to bring data semantics in Industrie 4.0 to a new level. To me, this is the big news from the fair! This is the first cooperation of this kind. At PI we break new ground – again. Sometimes you need to look beyond the hype to find the real gems. But what was your eye-opener at the fair?

Karsten Schneider
PI Chairman