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NOV-DEC 2018

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28 INTECH NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 WWW.ISA.ORG Interoperability standard for industrial automation In today's complex economy, information is the key to business success and profitability By Thomas J. Burke T he OPC Foundation is working with consor- tia and standard development organizations to achieve the goals of superior production with digitalization. The year 2018 has been an interesting, record-breaking year, with end us - ers, system integrators, and suppliers focused on maximizing their engineering investments and increasing productivity. End users are capitalizing on the data and information explosion. Consortia and standard development organizations (SDOs) are helping suppliers to exceed expectations. Integration opportunity Information integration requires standards organizations to work together for interoper - ability with synergistic opportunities to ad- dress convergence and to prevent overlapping complex information model architectures. The standards organizations have been working in- dependently, and now it is time for them work to together to harmonize their data models with other standard organizations. The criteria for success for an SDO should be measured by the level of open interoperability provided. When OPC UA was first conceived, it focused on developing a strategy for platform indepen- dence and a solution that allowed the operation- al technology (OT) and information technology (IT) worlds to communicate, have seamless in- teroperability, and be able to agree on syntacti- cal and semantic data exchange formats. The OPC Foundation started developing a service-oriented architecture, recognizing the opportunity to separate the services from the data. It consciously developed a rich, complex information model that allowed the OPC data to be modeled from the OPC classic specifications. OPC Foundation The mission of the OPC Foundation is to manage a global organization in which users, vendors, and consortia collaborate to create standards for mul- tivendor, multiplatform, secure, and reliable infor- mation integration interoperability in industrial automation and beyond. To support this mission, the OPC Foundation creates and maintains speci- fications, ensures compliance with OPC specifica- tions via certification testing, and collaborates with standards organizations. OPC technologies were created to allow informa- tion to be easily and securely exchanged between diverse platforms from multiple vendors and to allow seamless integration of those platforms with- out costly, time-consuming software development. OPC

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