InduSoft recently attended the SPS/IPC/Drives show held yearly in Nurnberg, Germany. While this show is mainly a European show, with visitors from all across Europe, there were visitors from the United States and Canada as well. InduSoft had a booth in the OPC UA pavilion. As shown, InduSoft showed a Windows 7 computer running InduSoft Web Studio, serving mobile web pages to both an iPad and Android Phone. In addition, a Toradex board running Windows CE with an InduSoft Web Studio runtime was demonstrated. Toradex, located in Switzerland, manufactures board level products for the OEM market and is a partner of InduSoft. A Raspberry Pi board running a Linux-based OPC UA server, connected an InduSoft Web Studio client HMI was also demonstrated. While the Raspberry PI is not an industrial-grade product, it demonstrates the interoperability of OPC UA running on Windows and non-Windows platforms.
The show was well attended and booth traffic was quite heavy. There are many companies looking at what’s new in automation technology to determine their future automation architectures. OPC UA was definitely an interesting technology for many companies.
OPC UA (Unified Architecture) is part of a big initiative by major manufacturing companies, the German government, and national research universities to encourage adoption of a secure communications platform for Industry 4.0. Many vendors were also promoting Industry 4.0. While not exactly the same, in the North American market, a similar concept called IoT (or Internet of Things) is currently being promoted.
And of course, the Alien was a big attraction…