A live demo with solutions from three different manufacturers was introduced to the public at SPS IPC Drives 2018. The demo shows how easily TSN can be integrated in PROFINET in view of different technologies. In the live demo, prototypical implementations from three different companies – Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, and Hilscher – work together with their respective proprietary hardware and firmware platforms. Further providers are at the ready!
Within just a short period of time, the joint working group between PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) and the OPC Foundation has managed to draft a review version of the specification “Safety over OPC UA Based on PROFIsafe” for controller-to-controller communication. The crucial steps in the fundamental design and detailed specification development have thus been accomplished.
In close cooperation, and within the framework of a joint working group, experts from PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) and the OPC Foundation have specified a solution for presenting PROFINET data in the OPC UA object model. PROFINET’s OPC UA companion specification is set to be reviewed soon. The solution’s user-friendliness has already been tested in terms of its practical implementation, using the example of a multi-vendor demonstrator; at the PI booth at SPS IPC Drives 2018, multiple applications were shown in interaction with PROFINET and OPC UA. According to extensive coordination talks with users, the most significant content of PROFINET’s OPC UA companion specification includes the collection and display of asset management and diagnostic data.
The companion specification “OPC UA for IO-Link” passed a review by the IO-Link Community and the OPC Foundation; the final version V1.0 was adopted. An IO-Link Community working group then began the task of defining the JSON data-interchange format for IO-Link; defining this internationally recognized data format would allow for configuration tools to be connected independent of manufacturer and for lean sensor-to-cloud applications to be implemented.
The intelligent manufacturing networks of digital factories will only become reality with machine-processable, standardized information because they have to work across company and industry boundaries. PROFIBUS & PROFINET International sees its role in creating the necessary basis for this fact, especially in view of Industry 4.0. In a first step, this has been accomplished by providing device-related expertise for PI technologies – for instance, in the form of parameters in the open device profiles or other specifications for the application layer, like for an asset management record. However, in order for these to be used as the basis for a machine-processable flow of data across the various systems – from sensor to cloud – the data that is already available today must be transformed into clearly usable information by means of semantic standards. OPC UA and eCl@ss are playing an increasingly important role in regard to industrial automation.
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