As industrial automation progresses in the manufacturing fields, seamless communication between devices and systems is becoming more imperative. Therefore, the role of Open Platform Communications – United Architecture (OPC UA) is more relevant than ever.
One of the state-of-the-art OPC-certified products in the market is Omron’s NX102 Machine Controller. This robust controller combines safety, accurate motion, and transparent control in a single device. With embedded OPC UA server functionality, the NX102 allows for open communication with field devices. Thus, ensuring to meet the needs of SCADA software communication.
Moreover, its flexibility and ability to communicate on a wide range of industrial protocols make it suitable for both brownfield and greenfield facilities. Hence, the NX102 gets automation up and running quickly. For that reason, it gives healthy returns on capital investments for the plant floor.
Over the past five years, one of the most significant advancements in OPC UA acceptance and implementation has been in authentication and encryption. OPC UA requires credentials, making it an essential asset in addressing cyber vulnerabilities and preventing unauthorized access. With the increasing importance of data security and the rise of cyber-physical attacks, OPC UA’s authentication and encryption capabilities have played a crucial role in its adoption and utility. Moreover, the OPC UA Foundation has witnessed steady membership growth, indicating the growing recognition and trust in this technology.
The proliferation of components from multiple suppliers in machinery has greatly benefited OPC UA. By allowing SCADA software communication, OPC UA simplifies connectivity and integration in manufacturing operations. This openness has reduced complexity enabling users to adopt OPC UA technology more readily. In addition, as the industrial automation community embraces collaboration and interoperability, OPC UA sets a precedent for future innovations and industry standards.
The advent of Industry 4.0 has further accelerated the use of OPC UA in manufacturing. As facilities strive to implement smart and connected systems, OPC UA plays a crucial role in efficient data transmission, secure communication, and centralized control. By embedding OPC UA server functionality in flagship controllers, such as the NX102, Omron is aligning with the principles of Industry 4.0 and driving greater adoption of OPC UA. The efficiency and security offered by OPC UA make it an ideal choice for Industry 4.0 initiatives through integrating into Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Looking ahead, future innovations in data security will continue to shape the use of OPC UA in manufacturing operations. As more data becomes confidential and regulations tighten, OPC UA’s secure communication and encryption capabilities will become even more critical.
The OPC UA Foundation is committed to advancing data security and protecting users’ valuable information as it is transported to central databases. The journey of OPC UA is an ongoing one, and the industrial automation community eagerly awaits the future developments and advancements in this technology.
OPC UA has emerged as a powerful and indispensable tool in the world of industrial automation. Its open and secure communication protocol has revolutionized the way devices and systems interact, simplifying connectivity, improving efficiency, and enhancing data security.
With state-of-the-art OPC-certified products like Omron’s NX102 Machine Controller, the industry is witnessing the tangible benefits of OPC UA in real-world applications. Thus, OPC UA will continue to play a pivotal role in driving innovation, collaboration, and efficiency in manufacturing operations.
This article has been originally published by Omron Automation with minor edits.