OPC targets pharmaceutical industry

20 February 2009

The OPC Foundation has released the draft Analyzer Devices Integration (ADI) Specification, providing the pharmaceutical industry with a common method for data exchange for analyser data models for process and laboratory analysers. The specification was developed as a logical extension of the OPC UA specifications and serves as an information model for analyser devices.

Analyser integration, based on standards, offers a unique opportunity in Data Management and Integration for solutions such as Process Analytical Technology (PAT).

The OPC ADI specification addresses several types of analysers including spectrometers and particle-size analysers. Further clarifications and additions of other analyser types will be the focus of the OPC ADI effort in 2009 with the final release of the OPC ADI specification scheduled for the second half of 2009.

OPC says the release of this new specification continues to follow its founding principles of providing end-users with the ability to implement ‘Quality by Design’ in their manufacturing systems. The Foundation asserts that analysers will no longer be isolated proprietary systems. Instead, they will be based on OPC UA specifications and have the ability to easily interact with complete plant systems through open communications.

’The release of the ADI standard enables us to provide the industry with analytical products based on open connectivity that interoperate with manufacturing system much more efficiently than was possible before ADI,’ said Thomas Buijs, product manager at ABB.

The OPC Foundation working group, composed of end-users and vendors, collaborated to define and finalise the specification. The working group has grown from several founding members to a large multi-industry group that includes large pharmaceutical and food companies and vendors of analytical devices, control systems and integration software. The working group represents both Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and laboratory industries.

‘The OPC ADI effort is a great example of vendors, integrators and end-users collaborating to solve a problem. The tremendous progress achieved by the OPC ADI Working Group proves that OPC UA provides a solid foundation for development of information models,’ said Thomas Burke, president of the OPC Foundation.

OPC Unified Architecture provides a base foundation of services for discovery, read/write and subscription for information that is described by industry standards organisations focused on information modelling. The OPC Unified Architecture Analyzer Device Specification will leverage the information model architecture of OPC UA facilitating complete data access and exchange services with secure transactional capability via the SOA (Services Oriented Architecture) for configuration data, diagnostic data, and runtime operational data for all analyser devices.

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