OPC Foundation, CESMII launch UA Cloud Library

Dec. 15, 2021

The OPC Foundation launched the globally available UA Cloud Library co-developed with the Clean Energy and Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII). With its multi-cloud architecture, the UA Cloud Library includes contributions from all major cloud vendors leveraging open interfaces and is available for sharing, finding, and collaborating on OPC UA Information Models.

The UA Cloud Library already contains more than 65 OPC UA Information Models created by individual companies as well as international standards organizations like AutoID, DEXPI, MDIS, MTConnect, and more than 30 VDMA working groups as part of their OPC UA Companion Specification work.

The UA Cloud Library can be accessed from the OPC Foundation website at: http://UACloudLibrary.OPCFoundation.org. The open-source reference implementation can be accessed at: https://github.com/OPCFoundation/UA-CloudLibrary

The UA Cloud Library offers two standout benefits:

  1. OPC UA information model access for applications
  2. Ease of use of the entire OPC UA Companion Specification collection for end-users in general

While shop floor (OT) components routinely discover and use data structures and services of other OPC UA components, direct access to such semantic information has not been readily available to cloud-based applications due to security considerations. The UA Cloud Library eliminates this gap by providing IT and cloud-based applications access to semantic information directly from the cloud instead of manually from the OT systems. 

"The UA Cloud Library is the missing link that makes OPC UA information models available in the cloud on a global scale without requiring a connection to physical machines," said Erich Barnstedt, chief architect standards & consortia, Microsoft Corp., and chair of the UA Cloud Library working group. "It enables OPC UA Information Models, used as blueprints for industrial digital twins, to be looked up and matched against time-series machine telemetry data provided by cloud-based analytics software, which is a common requirement in Industrial IoT projects."

John Dyck, CEO of CESMII, added: "It was an honor to partner with the OPC Foundation in this strategic initiative. The UA Cloud Library is truly an important step on the journey to Smart Manufacturing Interoperability and will pave the way for dramatic simplification and cost savings for manufacturing systems."

Stefan Hoppe, president and executive director of the OPC Foundation, said: "The value of what the OPC Foundation and CESMII joint working group created cannot be overstated because it equips us with the mechanism needed to facilitate access to all known OPC UA information models via an open, global, single-source of truth. Beyond the value the UA Cloud Library brings to applications, it will help with global OPC UA information model coordination and harmonization efforts by making it easy to search and cross-reference the latest OPC UA companion specifications in real-time. Finally, the UA Cloud Library will serve a crucial infrastructure role in Smart Manufacturing initiatives that depend on interoperability."

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