Leveraging the computing industry’s Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) technologies, PLCopen and other open standards organizations (including the OPC Foundation) developed an open standards ecosystem that simplifies the communications between packaging machines and other plant systems as well as the business enterprise. The new standards help advance automation systems technology, which has generally lagged behind general computing and software.
PLCopen OPC UA function blocks are defined for direct machine-to-machine communications between multiple vendor controllers to coordinate automation. They simplify the integration of production, process control, packaging, and other machines into new efficient system architectures. In turn, they will facilitate implementation of Internet of Things, Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, and Smart Factory applications.
At Pack Expo 2014, PLCopen members demonstrated these function block capabilities to meet customer needs through conformance with the PLCopen OPC UA-based standards for PLC, PAC, drives, and other industrial controllers. The open standards improve automation system device interoperability, and simplify sensor-to-enterprise, cloud, and Internet communications with PLCopen Web-service blocks based on the OPC UA standards. The standards, which represent a universal, secure, and reliable network communication method—enable frictionless, out-of-the-box information exchange based on computer industry standards.
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