Stefan Hoppe, chair of a joint PLCopen/OPC UA workgroup reports on how cooperation between the two organizations is to facilitate the adoption of ‘Industry 4.0’ a.k.a. the ‘smart factory.’ The fast-approaching ‘4 th industrial revolution’ is driven by the integration of IT and communication technologies with industrial automation. Autonomous, distributed, intelligent ‘cyber physical systems’ (CPS) will ‘reconfigure and optimize and extend themselves without engineering or manual intervention.’
Data exchange over OPC UA will play a role in CPS as will connectivity with IEC61131-3 controlled devices PLCopen. This will require mapping the IEC61131-3 software model to the OPC UA server address space. The collaboration promises that a program running on different controllers from different manufacturers can access data in the same and ‘data flows will be faster, secure and more precise.’
Note that the buzzword-laden release originally included the word ‘semantic’ but does not seem to read any differently now that we have removed it.
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