The OPC Foundation announces its increased efforts to ensure industrial interoperability not only for the OPC UA core functionalities, but now also for the Sematics specified with cooperation partners in OPC UA based Companion Specifications. The new OPC UA Compliance Test Tool (UACTT) has been extended to include now more than 1800 test scripts for the OPC UA core functionality and for the Companion Specifications. These include Process Automation Device Information Model (PA-DIM) and PLCopen – MDIS is already available.
Vendors using the UACTT can confidently take their OPC UA based products to market without worrying about possible Companion Specification related interoperability issues. Customers using conformance tested products can be confident that interoperability is assured.
Alexander Allmendinger, Test Lab Manager of the European Certification Test Lab explained “For vendors this helps their developers to quickly identify and rectify implementation issues that may otherwise have been difficult to track down. It can also reduce the risk of going to market with non-compliant products. For end-users, the UACTT helps minimize costly integration project overruns and operational risks that can arise from use of non-compliant 3rd party data connectivity products.”
The extensions are:
- PA-DIM: The test scripts include checks for all data types defined in the Companion Specification and validation of PA-DIM object instances. This ensures that all mandatory elements in each object exist and comply with the type definitions.
- PLCopen: The scripts check the correct mapping of PLCopen defined IEC61131-3 datatypes and namespace entry points for OPC UA against the PLCopen Companion Specification. Also entry points defined in the Specification are covered in the testing enabling to validate the namespace of an OPC UA enabled controller offering a pre-defined IEC61131-3 project by the Joint Working Group.
- MDIS: The scripts covering information model related tests and to exercise the behaviour of controlling mechanisms defined in this Companion Specification. This helps vendors to prepare their solutions and reduces their effort for the time to market. The MDIS companion specification mandates certification and so the use of the UACTT is of even higher priority for the vendors.
Eelco van der Wal, Managing Director of PLCopen says: “Interoperability is key to the success of OPC UA and key to the world wide acceptance of this unique standard. With this new test tool OPC Foundation provides the right level of support during the crucial phases of the product life cycle: development and integration. We are glad that the OPC Foundation added this to their suite of products and shows their commitment and support of this crucial technology, enabling a connected OT world.”
Peter Lutz, Field Level Communications (FLC) Director explains: “Interoperability for the process and factory automation cannot be limited to the uplink connection via an OPC UA Server. Providing interoperability between automation components of multiple vendors on an open and free standard in the field level is as important. The FLC Initiative currently working to develop new scripts for the UACTT including those needed for both APL and TSN components – this will be required as a mandatory conformance test of FLC-Automation Components.”
Stefan Hoppe, President of the OPC Foundation commented “The UACTT plays an essential role in fulfilling our OPC Foundation vision of secure, open data interoperability from sensor to cloud for process control, discrete manufacturing, and hybrids.”, Mr. Hoppe continued “The UACTT is a critical element of our provision of a single, open, and transparent approach for vendors and end-users to realize the value OPC UA offers. The UACTT makes this single-source of truth possible.”