Vertical Integration via Dynamic Aggregation of Information in OPC UA
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Vertical and horizontal integration of manufacturing systems is an important part of the Industry 4.0 concept.
The provision of actual implementation strategies for manufacturing systems not following the hierarchy levels of the automation pyramid is still a challenge that needs to be solved. In a traditional production environment data exchange happens through strictly defined interfaces that are not easily changeable or extendable. Within the shop-floor, OPC UA is a communication technology already used for the widespread exchange of information. OPC UA offers a technology that allows data exchange using unified interfaces. Information can be organized and provided in a more effective way. This provision requires an information model as semantic description of the data, and a strategy to integrate data from different sources.
This paper presents an approach for information model creation and demonstrates an implementation approach in order to create a single OPC UA address space from multiple physical and digital devices. This is done via creation of OPC UA servers for all production entities and dynamically linking them via intelligent aggregation.
KeywordsOPC UA Interoperability Aggregation
Acknowledgement and Outlook
The presented paper was elaborated within the research project InMoFlex. This project is founded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany. The present approach was developed within the competence field “Production and Automation Engineering” of the Technical University Ingolstadt.
In a manufacturing environment the permanent availability of information is very important. Therefore, it is relevant to integrate functions that ensure high availability, as for example redundancy, to the aggregating server. Additionally, functions for security like a central certificate store have to be implemented.
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