In a recent announcement, Real-Time Innovations (RTI), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity company, and Beeond, an OPC UA consulting, training and development services company, released a new architecture proposal to integrate the core connectivity standards – OPC UA, DDS and TSN – for industrial systems.
The partners said that this approach could eliminate years of potential effort on new standards development by combining the strengths of existing standards to address the complex connectivity challenges of future automation systems with a new, converged architecture. The architecture is designed to address interoperability between devices and systems plus extensibility to incorporate future large or intelligent systems. The proposal is detailed in a new technical whitepaper, titled, “A Converged Approach to Standards for Industrial Automation.”
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) lays out a reference architecture for Industrial IoT connectivity in its Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework (IICF). The IICF recommends core standards including DDS and OPC UA. While these standards each address integration, they diverge in focus between hardware (OPC UA) and software (DDS). While DDS can streamline data sharing between software applications across complex systems of systems, OPC UA provides domain information models useful at both the physical and software levels.
The joint RTI and Beeond proposed technical architecture reportedly provides a path to connect the factory floor to the top floor, sensors to cloud and real-time devices to work cells. The technologies of OPC UA and DDS can be combined, the companies said, with the effort going into integration rather than ground-up redesign. The proposal was co-authored by Dr. Gerardo Pardo, CTO, RTI, Fernando Garcia, Senior Software Engineer, RTI, and Costantino Pipero, Founder and CTO, Beeond.
“By harnessing the power that DDS and OPC UA provide, companies across the IIoT can realize a higher degree of security and interoperability across systems,” said Pipero. “With this document, we invite those building systems and those building the connectivity technologies to contribute and comment.”
This paper outlines a way to quickly deliver the necessary standards and technology to deploy products and solutions, while the proposed integration will deliver rapid deployment options to manufacturers, according to the release.
“The proposed integration of the OPC UA and DDS standards is a critical milestone in the advancement of the Industrial Internet,” said Brett Murphy, Senior Director, Market Development, Industrial Internet of Things, RTI. “The value delivered by an IIoT system is underpinned by two key capabilities: data interconnectivity from the edge to the cloud and software providing advanced analytics and control. Because of this, having a streamlined, converged design leveraging the best aspects of both DDS and OPC UA will be essential for next-generation systems. This proposal builds on RTI’s experience in standards development and solving complex system architecture challenges. We look forward to continuing to advance the industry while helping our customers design the intelligent systems of the future.”
Edited by Ken Briodagh