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Architecture for Core Connectivity Standards

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Published by by Sabrina Hausner

RTI and Beeond detail converged approach for OPC UA, DDS and TSN standards

RTI  Industrie 4.0 envirnoment
RTI and Beeond released a new architecture proposal to integrate OPC UA, DDS and TSN.

Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity company, and Beeond Inc., a leading OPC UA consulting, training and development services company, today released a new architecture proposal to integrate the core connectivity standards – OPC UA, DDS and TSN – for industrial systems.

This proposed approach eliminates years of potential effort on new standards development by combining the strengths of existing standards to address the complex connectivity challenges of future automation systems with a new, converged architecture. The architecture addresses interoperability between devices and systems plus extensibility to incorporate future large or intelligent systems.

The proposal is detailed in a new technical whitepaper, titled “A Converged Approach to Standards for Industrial Automation.”

RTI and Beeond’s proposed technical architecture provides a path to connect

  • the factory floor to the top floor
  • sensors to cloud
  • real-time devices to work cells

The well-developed technologies of OPC UA and DDS can be combined, with the effort going into integration rather than ground-up redesign. The proposal was co-authored by Dr. Gerardo Pardo, Chief Technology Officer at RTI, Fernando Garcia, Senior Software Engineer at RTI and Costantino Pipero, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Beeond.

“By harnessing the power that DDS and OPC UA provide, companies across the IIoT can realize a higher degree of security and interoperability across systems,” said Costantino Pipero, CTO and Founder at Beeond. “With this document, we invite those building systems and those building the connectivity technologies to contribute and comment.”

Advantages of OPC UA and DDS

Combining the proven OPC UA Object-Oriented Information model and client-server interface with the DDS Data-Centric Publish-Subscribe model

  • provides seamless, secure, reliable access to all system information
  • supports the needed information exchange patterns
  • a way to quickly deliver the necessary standards and technology to deploy products and solutions
  • rapid deployment options to manufacturers, whether retrofitting a factory or designing a system from scratch.

“The proposed integration of the OPC UA and DDS standards is a critical milestone in the advancement of the Industrial Internet,” said Brett Murphy, Senior Director, Market Development, Industrial Internet of Things at RTI.
“The value delivered by an IIoT system is underpinned by two key capabilities: data interconnectivity from the edge to the cloud and software providing advanced analytics and control. Because of this, having a streamlined, converged design leveraging the best aspects of both DDS and OPC UA, will be essential for next-generation systems. This proposal builds on RTI’s experience in standards development and solving complex system architecture challenges. We look forward to continuing to advance the industry while helping our customers design the intelligent systems of the future.”

IIoT Connectivity

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) lays out a reference architecture for Industrial IoT connectivity in its Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework (IICF). The IICF recommends core standards including DDS and OPC UA. While these standards each address integration, they diverge in focus between hardware (OPC UA) and software (DDS).

  • DDS uniquely streamlines data sharing between software applications across complex systems of systems
  • OPC UA provides valuable domain information models useful at both the physical and software levels.

For this reason, organizations are starting to look at how to bring together the best of both DDS and OPC UA.

About Beeond

Beeond, Inc. helps both automation vendors and users transition their products and systems to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) using the OPC Unified Architecture (UA) Standard. Their consulting, training and software development services are designed to guide and support their customers through the complete UA technology adoption lifecycle. They follow a Five Step IIoT Adoption Process that is well organized and practical, so customers realize value quickly and cost-effectively. Unlike traditional software development companies, Beeond focuses only on OPC UA and its implementation in edge computing, factory floor and cloud-based systems. Their experience and expertise reduce development cost and lowers project risk for their customers. For more information, visit their website at www.beeond.net.

About Real-Time Innovations (RTI), Inc.

RTI

Real-Time Innovations is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity company. The RTI Connext® databus is a software framework that shares information in real time, making applications work together as one, integrated system. It connects across field, fog and cloud. Its reliability, security, performance and scalability are proven in the most demanding industrial systems. Deployed systems include medical devices and imaging; wind, hydro and solar power; autonomous planes, trains and cars; traffic control; Oil and Gas; robotics, ships and defense.

RTI is the largest vendor of products based on the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service™ (DDS) standard. RTI is privately held and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

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