OPC UA companion specification to be developed for CIP

Tuesday, 21 April, 2020

OPC UA companion specification to be developed for CIP

ODVA has announced that it has launched a joint working group with the OPC Foundation to develop an OPC UA companion specification to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). The organisation says the collaboration between ODVA and the OPC Foundation will result in reliable, secure communications between devices that are a part of a CIP-enabled industrial control system (ICS) and other OPC UA-enabled applications allowing communication between CIP devices and OPC UA devices as well as with cloud and enterprise-level services. Common tasks required for cloud gateway appliance management will be enabled, and CIP devices will have unimpeded access to leading cloud services.

The OPC UA companion specification will address the challenge of moving industrial communication and control data from the factory floor to the cloud via gateways.

“Connecting manufacturing process and control data from EtherNet/IP devices to OPC UA servers will enable valuable factory floor information to be made available at the edge and beyond for enterprise wide analysis,” said Dr Al Beydoun, President and Executive Director at ODVA.

The OPC UA companion specification will map CIP objects to the appropriate OPC UA information models and profiles and vice versa. Sending data to and from the cloud from EtherNet/IP to OPC UA will be accomplished by providing useful information including discovery, identity, diagnostics, status, parameter and much more from CIP devices. Allowing critical automation information to be easily transferred from EtherNet/IP to OPC UA will drastically lower the effort required to enable access from higher level systems, such as analytics, ERP or MES. The OPC UA companion specification to CIP will ensure that data will be available to enterprise and IT systems with proper context and semantics for quick trend analysis and insight generation.

A joint working group, composed of members of ODVA and the OPC Foundation, will work to identify critical device-to-cloud use cases — such as tying warranty costs back to production variations — that will drive the scope of the work to be done. In parallel work to the joint development of the OPC UA companion specification to CIP, CIP and EtherNet/IP will be enhanced by ODVA SIGs, as needed, to ensure that all of the pertinent data is able to be understood by OPC UA without any additional work needed by end users.

“The time is right for the OPC UA Companion Specification to CIP to ensure that EtherNet/IP is prepared to meet the requirements of Industry 4.0 and IIoT,” Beydoun stated.

Image: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Alexey Stiop

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