New International Initiative to Define OPC UA Cloud Library

Stefan Hoppe

The OPC Foundation, in collaboration with CESMII, is pleased to announce the launch of the “OPC UA Cloud Library” Joint Working Group (JWG). The goal of the JWG is to specify how OPC UA information models of machines, Scada and Manufacturing Execution Systems will be stored in and accessed from a cloud-based database. Such a database will enable manufacturers to draw from a wide range of OPC UA information models and profiles for use in their pre-built shopfloor and business digitalization applications.

Collaboration between the OPC Foundation and the Smart Manufacturing Institute is a natural fit given their complementary efforts. On one hand, the US government-backed Smart Manufacturing Institute sets out to help accelerate the adoption of Smart Manufacturing by businesses of all sizes by enabling frictionless movement of information (data and context) between real-time operations and the people and systems that create value in their organizations. On the other hand, the OPC Foundation created a globally adopted open data interoperability standard via its OPC UA specification. The specification’s information modeling capabilities and secure, scalable communications made it a cornerstone of Industrie 4.0 and virtually every other national Industrial IoT initiative. By working together, CESMII and the OPC Foundation aim to enable the broadest range of US manufacturers and beyond to innovate and go-to-market in their digital transformation using the right data modeling foundation.
John Dyck, CEO, CESMII, explained, “This joint working group validates our core, overarching strategy and commitment to interoperability and an open ecosystem, enabling the digitization and reuse of standard, templatized data structures that will dramatically reduce the cost and complexities of implementing Smart Manufacturing.” Mr. Dyck continued, “Crowdsourcing the domain expertise required to create these reusable device, machine and process profiles will dramatically lower the barrier of entry for innovation and value creation in manufacturing, and ensure that Smart Manufacturing is accessible not just to the large manufacturers, but to the small and medium manufacturers as well!”

“The OPC UA Cloud Library Joint Working Group between the OPC Foundation and the Smart Manufacturing Institute fills a gap in the OPC UA promise of “from sensor to cloud”. Only when all OPC UA data models are publicly available on the Internet without the need to extract them from physical machines or on-prem systems, can this promise be completely fulfilled. OPC UA will then not only be the de-facto international standard for interoperable machine intelligence, shop floor MES and Scada systems but also for dashboards, digital twins and cloud analytics solutions, too.” said Erich Barnstedt, Head of Azure Industrial IoT, Microsoft and the chairperson of the JWG. 

Stefan Hoppe, President and Executive Director, OPC Foundation commented “It is exciting to see the scale at which CESMII is poised to help drive digital transformation among US-based manufacturers using an open standard like OPC UA ”, Mr. Hoppe continued, “the Smart Manufacturing Institute’s decision to standardize on OPC UA for key parts of its initiative will enable US manufacturers more quickly and easily integrate their own machines at home and abroad, where OPC UA is the de facto standard for Industrial IoT data interoperability.“