AIM Germany and OPC Foundation announce OPC AIM Companion Specification | Automation.com

AIM Germany and OPC Foundation announce OPC AIM Companion Specification

March 17, 2015 - The OPC AIM Companion Specification will be announced at the Hannover Messe Industrie on April 14th 2015. The specification is an essential component for the successfull AutoID integration for the realization of the future concept "Industrie 4.0".

The industrial association AIM represents the global network of AutoID experts. AutoID systems e.g. facilitate automatic identification of parts and transport items in industrial processes that are increasingly being enhanced with sensors and Real-time Locating Systems (RTLS). OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) and the OPC specifications are vendor-independent and platform-neutral tools. Their original objective of integrating production control with leading IT systems meanwhile has been extended onto a wide range of branches and scenarios.

AutoID systems use barcodes, two-dimensional (2D) codes, RFID, NFC, RTLS, sensors and other technologies. They are necessary components for the successful control of processes in production and in material flow and logistics chains. Furthermore they provide important data for leading software systems, referred to as Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). AutoID systems integration is fundamentally significant for realizing global concepts like "Internet of Things" and "Industrie 4.0", also in combination with Cyber Physical Systems (CPS).

Olaf Wilmsmeier, Product Manager Software with the Harting Group, Espelkamp, and AIM Germany board member, emphasizes: "After a year of intensive co-operation between OPC UA and AIM experts from renowned companies in the AIM Germany System Integration Working Group we will announce the first version of the AIM OPC Companion Specification at the upcoming Hannover Messe. So far for example AutoID readers for barcodes and RFID to a large extent are vendor-specifically connected to leading software systems. With the new OPC AIM Specification we provide the market with a manufacturer-independent standard for integrating AutoID systems faster and cheaper."

Stefan Hoppe, Vice President OPC Foundation, explains: "The OPC Foundation goal is to create an industrial standard for horizontal and vertical integration from sensor to the IT enterprise level. The OPC Unified Architecture was originated in industrial automation but is meanwhile also being used in other vertical markets. OPC UA has been set as communication technology as part of the reference architecture for Industrie 4.0 – controlling transport of data and information with integrated mechanisms for system security and access. Interesting for other organizations are the OPC UA modelling capabilities which help describe what needs to be transported. The AIM Germany industrial association recognized early on the OPC UA potential. The implementation of the common specification will strongly lead to simplified and secure connection of AutoID systems with the world of control but also direct into the enterprise IT world."

Experts that can illustrate the OPC AIM specification at the Hannover Messe will be available at these stands: OPC Foundation (Hall 9 / Stand: A11), Microsoft (Hall 7 / Stand C48), Harting Group (Hall 11/ Stand: C13), ICS Informatik Consulting Systems (Hall 2 / Stand: A52)

Automatic Identification and Industrial Automation go Hand in Hand
The AIM Germany co-operation with the OPC Foundation is based on a common risk evaluation regarding the deficiencies of current system integration in manufacturing, materials flow control and logistics. The new OPC AIM Companion Specification unifies diverging standardization activities and accomplishes a significant value-add for integration projects for users in numerous branches as far as concerned acceleration and cost reduction. The specification shall prevent the emergence of diverging and competitive specifications which would irritate users.

Obtaining OPC AIM Companion Specification documents requires membership in the AIM association or OPC Foundation.

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