HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
switch to:
Industrie 4.0

The whole of an OPC UA assembly cell can now speak the same language

fortiss has unveiled a model system which links together smart components from several manufacturers. As a result, heterogeneous production landscapes can also be controlled uniformly.

13 Aug. 2018
HMI-ID08-003rf_fortiss-vdma-opc-us-demonstrator
The whole of an OPC UA assembly cell can now speak the same language (Photo: YouTube/fortiss)

One of the big problems of Industry 4.0 is the manufacturer-specific software of the various system parts. It is often difficult, and in some cases impossible, to reprogram them so that the various components can communicate with one another. fortiss GmbH , the research institute of the Free State of Bavaria for software-intensive systems and services, has now unveiled a demonstrator , developed in collaboration with the VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association)) and around 20 partners from industry, which uses the Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture ( OPC UA ) for communication between the various components. In this way, problem-free M2M (machine to machine) communication can be established.

The demonstrator here is an industrial assembly cell with six stations , consisting of systems from various manufacturers which carry out individual process stages with grippers, axes and rotary indexing tables and pass on the information to the cell controller. The system is controlled by means of a description of the capabilities of the individual stations. In other words, the controller knows what the components of the assembly cell are capable of. As a result, there is no longer any need for time-consuming reprogramming to convert the cell to carry out a new order. According to fortiss, no programming skills are therefore required to set up the assembly line.