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OPC UA and POWERLINK set to provide seamless communication from sensors to the ERP layer

30 November 2015

OPC Foundation and Ethernet Powerlink Standardisation Group (EPSG) have announced that they are set to create a solution to integrate communication from the sensor layer to the ERP layer – without the need for any interfaces.

At last week's SPS/IPC/Drives event, Stefan Schönegger, managing director of the EPSG, and Thomas J. Burke, president of the OPC Foundation, explained that the groups are already working together on the necessary companion specification. 

Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) require seamless and consistent communication, both within the digital factory and externally to cloud-based services and other Internet technologies. These requirements are now being met as the EPSG and OPC Foundation work to implement a common definition for open interfaces between their technologies.

POWERLINK is a real-time bus system for machine manufacturers. It compliments the functionality provided by OPC UA. "OPC UA is ideal for connecting directly to real-time networks and allows complete, secure and scalable communication between these networks and the world of IT," said Burke.

"The combination of OPC UA and POWERLINK is ideal for integrating devices from different manufacturers as well as the various levels of the automation pyramid to create a complete system," added Schönegger. "For this reason, the EPSG relies on OPC UA as the communication protocol from the control level all the way up to ERP systems."

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