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Stage 3: Spinning the Cables. The technique of cable spinning allows for a cable of any length and thickness to be formed by binding together thin wires. To achieve mainstream adoption, implementers will need to easily add functionality to the base structures to create powerful OPC UA products. In addition to the Wrapper and Proxies software, the OPC Foundation will also be providing the OPC members with the source code, supporting documentation and reference designs used to create the OPC UA components. This will significantly improve the time to market, and quality of additional OPC UA products, that offer richer information models, complex data handling and industry specific applications
Stage 4: Deck Construction. The deck system is comprised of girders, beams, stringers and concrete. This is the final stage of creating the solid, trusted link between both sides of the divide, in preparation for the public masses. In terms of OPC UA, this represents the supporting activities that the OPC Foundation is spearheading to ensure that OPC UA is accepted and used by a wide audience. These activities include the development of a comprehensive Testing and Certification process for OPC products. Pragmatists require proof that a technology is compliant, interoperable and maintainable. There is a separate OPC Compliance group that is working on defining OPC UA test procedures, comprehensive compliance testing tools, interoperability testing sessions as well as an independent Test Lab. In addition, the OPC Foundation is working closely with major standards bodies, such as ISA, IEC, MIMOSA, EDDL, FDT and others. Collaboration with these standards will help to better facilitate adoption and acceptance of the OPC UA specification.
OPC UA represents a significant step towards transforming data into information for the enterprise, but that does not mean adopters should have to take a leap of faith to achieve this. The majority of OPC users today are comprised of individuals who choose solutions that are standardized, practical and secure. Therefore every effort is being made to ensure there is a clear, effective and seamless migration path to OPC UA, and build the infrastructure for the interoperable data link from the shop floor to the top floor.
|About the Author|
Eric Murphy, BSc, PEng (Alberta), is a chemical engineer with a process control specialization and an OPC expert. Eric has been a part of the OPC community since its early beginnings in the mid-1990s. He is heavily involved with the OPC Foundation and currently acts as the chair for the OPC Historical Data Access (HDA) working group. Eric is also a member of the OPC Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and an active member of the OPC Unified Architecture (UA) working group. Visit Eric at his Blog the OPC Exchange to follow the latest trends and discussions about OPC technology, or click here for free downloads.
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