Industry 4.0 and the concept of the Smart Factory were the main topics at the “OPC and MES Day Finland 2014”, which was held in Dipoli, Espoo, at the beginning of October. Peter Seeberg, Market Segment Manager Factory Automation at Softing Industrial Automation GmbH, was invited as keynote speaker, next to Thomas Burke, President of the OPC Foundation, Lennard Christensson of General Electric and Jan Snoeij of MESA International.
An audience of 140 participants from around the world listened to Mr. Seeberg’s keynote on “OPC UA as a bridge between IT and automation”. Looking back at history, Mr. Seeberg recalled Gordon Moore’s prediction from 1965 that the number of transistors per unit area on a computer chip would double every 12 months (later corrected to every 24 months). Since then, we have observed a miniaturization and spread of electronics along Moore’s law, extending into all areas of life.Today’s smartphones are more powerful than yesterday’s super computers. Transferred to industrial production, a small chip cannot only control the production process, but also ensure the digital consistency of the engineering along the entire value chain; this is one of the three characteristics of Industry 4.0, in addition to horizontal and vertical integration.
In his presentation, Mr. Seeberg explained the German government’s driven initiative as well as activities of German industrial trade organisations on the implementation of Industry 4.0 and outlined the importance of OPC UA as an information model for cooperative decision-making between people, objects and machines.
“OPC UA as a Bridge between IT and Automation”