Integrated Controls & WEB Services Standard: OPC UA Information Model for IEC 61131-3 Update

Bill Lydon, Director PLCopen North America

The computer industry has been integrating WEB services into a wide range of devices to unite data from various sources to improve operations and achieve more accurate decision support. These are precisely the issues automation and control systems need to address and why the PLCopen and OPC foundation are jointly working on an open standard and specification for implementation of OPC UA within IEC 61131-3.

Closed to Open
Some control and automation vendors have implemented WEB services using their own specifications; this is analogous to proprietary protocols in the early days of industrial networks. This will change very quickly with the adoption of the integrated approach of the OPC UA Information Model for IEC 61131-3.

Status
This standard is moving very quickly since the first specification draft in February, 2009, and the PLCopen/OPC Foundation Joint Working Group (PLC) announced the availability of a completed release candidate of the OPC UA for IEC 61131-3 Companion Specification November 23, 2009. In addition there is a December, 2009 Boiler demo draft as a use case example.

This work is focused on providing a tighter integration between business process and the IT architecture in a modular fashion, with the goals of providing business agility, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

Member of the OPC Foundation and PLCopen are the vast majority of controls and automation suppliers worldwide.

To participate is the standard development contact Eelco van der Wal, Managing Director PLCopen

More Information

PLCopen TC – 4
www.plcopen.org/pages/tc4_communication/

OPC Foundation www.opcfoundation.org