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Bitkom and OPC Foundation partner on interoperable interfaces

May 4, 2023

The digital association Bitkom e.V. and the OPC Foundation announced Apr. 17 at Hannover Messe 2023 that they’re collaborating on interoperable interfaces for Industry 4.0. Their goal is formulating requirements for interoperability with the digital economy to jointly promote harmonization efforts for machine and plant engineering.

"Lack of interoperability is a key barrier when exchanging data and information between different industrial platforms. OPC UA is an open and vendor-independent standard for the interoperability of systems and devices in industrial and automation technology,” says Susanne Dehmel, member of the Bitkom management board. “Especially in the context of data sharing and thus of data ecosystems, OPC UA can contribute to a uniform standard for the transmission of data between different systems in the context of Industry 4.0. We’re very pleased that we’re now entering into a direct exchange with the OPC Foundation through the MoU.”

Stefan Hoppe, president of the OPC Foundation, adds that, "Interoperability is important to ensure seamless collaboration between different systems. The OPC Foundation manages a global standard for secure industrial interoperability for information modeling and data exchange in the context of industry that scales from OT to the IT world. As part of our collaboration with Bitkom, we want to ensure that industrial data aspects can be modeled quickly and accurately, taking into account all the needs of the IT world."

Bitkom and the OPC Foundation will work together on the following topics:

  • Promote interoperability and other elements;
  • Discuss interoperability requirements;
  • Derive actual interoperability and standardization needs based on specific use cases or business models;
  • Input on standardization requirements;
  • Promote security and trustworthiness;
  • Understand aspects of open-source and the relation to reference implementations; and
  • Marketing activities to communicate the collaboration.

Bitkom and OPC Foundation intend to share information on the above topics, host exchange formats and establish contacts with stakeholders to support productive collaboration.

Bitkom promotes and drives the digital transformation of the German economy and advocates broad social participation in digital developments. It represents more than 2,000 member companies in the digital economy. They offer software, IT services, telecommunications or Internet services, manufacture devices and components, are active in digital media or are otherwise part of the digital economy. Bitkom members employ more than 2 million people in Germany. Members include more than 1,000 SMEs, more than 500 startups and almost all global players.

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control.