OPC Foundation, ECLASS collaborate to advance M2M interoperability

Dec. 23, 2020
The combination of OPC UA functionality and the ECLASS semantic dictionary is poised to accelerate the start of true industrial interoperability

An important step for interoperability in the field of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, the OPC Foundation and ECLASS e.V. recently signed a cooperation agreement.

The goal of this cooperation is to combine the power of the OPC UA and ECLASS standards to better enable M2M interoperability via seamless communication of data and semantics using a standardized set of interfaces. To serve as the basis for semantic interoperability across full product life cycles in an international application environment, a manufacturer and industry independent standard for product description is needed. Once created, such a standard can serve as a semantic reference for the Internet of Things. The ECLASS standard, developed by ECLASS e.V. meets these requirements in a unique way.

The OPC UA standard enables secure transmission of data and facilitates the definition and dynamic exchange of its underlying structure via robust OPC UA information modeling functionality. Standardized information models implemented using OPC UA are called OPC UA Companion Specifications, which taken together can serve as common libraries of Information Models. Products utilizing OPC UA Companion Specifications enable seamless 3rd party data interoperability in the operating phase in the product lifecycle. Today, ECLASS identifiers are already being used in various Companion Specifications.

"We believe in the vision of a fully networked, but above all interoperable world. With the OPC Foundation, we have gained one of the strongest players in the Industry 4.0 environment as a partner. We look forward to working together to better integrate the OPC UA standards with the ECLASS standard," says Markus Reigl, chairman of the board ECLASS e.V.

Stefan Hoppe, president OPC Foundation comments: “Beyond enabling secure information exchange, OPC UA has also become the ‘go-to' standard for describing control automation services, devices and machines across all industries via its robust information modeling capabilities. The universal nature of OPC UA modeling enables working groups to readily leverage external dictionaries like ECLASS to achieve semantic interoperability. I look forward to collaborating with ECLASS to help us reach our common goal faster.”