June 2009


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OPC EXPO comes to Connectivity Week!

Join us at the OPC EXPO in Santa Clara, CA, June 8-11

Manny Mandrusiak
Manny Mandrusiak
Vice President of OPC Marketing,

OPC Foundation


The OPC Foundation is very excited to be joining Connectivity Week in a greater capacity for this year’s Connectivity Week in Santa Clara, CA June 8-11.  If you have not checked out the newest offering at Connectivity Week, please navigate to the OPC Expo homepage at www.opcexpo.com

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Having attended Connectivity Week for the first time last year, I had to say that I was very impressed by the multitude of different tracks that I had to choose from to attend.  I especially enjoyed the trade show portion of the event.  Anytime that I get to meet people is a good thing.  I did notice that there were a lot of questions about OPC technology and what exactly the message is that the OPC Foundation is trying to send the Building Automation Industry.  The answer to that is simple.  The OPC Foundation wants to illustrate how consumer electronics have impacted the expectations of end-users, and how industrial automation and building automation integration of data/information is extremely important in this uncertain economic climate.   

The OPC Foundation has always been developing technology to solve interoperability problems in industrial automation.  We have worked hard over the last ten years to continue to enhance the architecture and the technology that the OPC Foundation offers. This is no small task given the large groundswell of companies that build and deploy products based on OPC technology.   

A little background about the OPC Foundation 

The OPC technology was originally developed in 1995 for discrete and process control in industrial automation.   It quickly became apparent that the developing technology was extremely applicable to domains outside of industrial automation.   Vendors began realizing and leveraging the technology across multiple domains as part of their normal development strategy, and built products for their portfolio that extended their reach beyond industrial automation.  Building Automation being one of the most highly significant verticals due to society’s growing concerns of energy conservation and maintaining a greener environment.   

In today’s economy the importance of accurate and secure industrial automation data/ information exchanged between building automation systems is more important than ever before.   Customers building solutions based on products from multiple vendors have their expectations set from the consumer electronics world that products should truly be multivendor plug-and-play compatible for total integration and interoperability.  Many of the vendors in industrial automation also play in the world of building automation.    

OPC Servers and OPC UA build scalable solutions 

OPC servers have existed for many of the building automation devices and networks for a long time.   With the new OPC Unified Architecture that begun to be developed in 2005 the whole concept of integrating information from building automation devices into industrial automation really comes to light.  Vendors are now beginning to build OPC directly into devices as part of the embedded strategy where OPC Unified Architecture is truly a multiplatform scalable architecture design for high speed embedded applications. 

End-users in all domains are expecting that when they purchase multivendor products and that the products truly work together.  This interoperability enables end-users to build the systems that they want, and maximize their dollars where they need to so that systems are scalable for the future.      

One of the most exciting things today is how the OPC Unified Architecture initially focused at moving data/information from devices on the factory floor to the enterprise, has now become a real standard for the embedded device market.   The standardized Web services architecture that the OPC Unified Architecture is based on enables multiplatform scalability that is normally only a dream in standardization.  It has now become a reality.    

What is OPC UA? 

The OPC Unified Architecture provides the infrastructure for information modeling.   The information modeling allows information to be described and communicated to generic applications.   Many consortiums are actively taking their information models and rolling them into the OPC UA companion spec paradigm.   Devices can now be plugged in and automatically configured.  This makes them ready to use in runtime operations by generic applications which helps facilitate asset management applications.  That is a concept that every industry needs to truly embrace in today’s economy.    

In the world of industrial automation OPC UA essentially expanded the horizon of the existing OPC architecture to provide the value proposition for end-users that essentially models the expectations of consumer electronics into industrial automation.   The value proposition for end-users for the OPC Unified Architecture is ease-of-use (NO DCOM), reliability/redundancy built-in, high-performance, easy-to-use configurable security built in, and a true multiplatform deployment base.   When you put all these things together the end-user will be able to purchase products that provide secure reliable multiplatform interoperability truly allowing integration between anything and everything.   End-users will also be able to use office type applications as well as developing their own applications requiring data/information from the assets and devices used in their facility.  Imagine a world where all of your building automation devices can be seen, configured, and calibrated in a secure fashion.   Imagine a world where you can take your facility and be able to manage your facility through the respective integrated building automation devices that have become plug-and-play through the power of the OPC Unified Architecture industry-standard. 

I suggest that you join us at the OPC EXPO in Santa Clara, CA June 8-11 as part of Connectivity Week.  Monday will be packed full of information as the OPC Foundation holds an active OPC UA workshop.

 This workshop will take attendees through the following tracks:

I look forward to seeing everyone in Santa Clara this June!

Register for the OPC EXPO at Connectivity Week: http://www.opcexpo.com/2009/#agenda

Get more info about the OPC Foundation at: www.opcfoundation.org

Email Manny at: manny.mandrusiak@opcfoundation.org 


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