Cloud providers and large manufacturers support the new initiative to enhance

Interoperability within IT and cloud environments leveraging OPC UA

The OPC Foundation has unveiled a new initiative to boost interoperability across IT and cloud platforms using OPC UA, targeting applications like: data analytics using AI, Industrial Data Spaces, Digital Product Passports, and applications for the Industrial Metaverse as well as Digital Twins. The initiative aims to create a cloud reference architecture to provide best practices and optimized profiles of OPC UA standards for broader data sharing, in line with global regulations such as the EU's Data Act or the EU’s Cyber Resilience Act (CRA). In addition, the initiative will cover the use of OPC UA Companion Specs and other OPC UA Information Models within cloud services.
Digitalization is resulting in a world divided between those who possess and effectively utilize data and those who lack access to those resources. This is a barrier to both corporate success and macro-economic growth. As a response, legislators are requiring vendors to share data among much broader ecosystems. In addition, various use cases for traceability, such as the Digital Product Passport (DPP) and the Battery Passport (DBP), will create a greater need for interoperability of data models. Governmental security requirements, such as the Cyber Resilience Act, also create further requirements for data communication standards. The IEC standard OPC UA is well positioned to fulfill these demands.
“OPC UA has established itself as the industrial interoperability standard in on-premises, OT environments, field-level communication, as well as industrial Edge applications” says Stefan Hoppe, President of the OPC Foundation, “Therefore, it is not surprising that OPC UA users want to leverage their existing investment in OPC UA Information Models and communication patterns and also utilize it in IT and cloud applications by enhancing secure, interoperable cloud architectures for advanced data analysis, digital twins, and AI.”
Notably, the initiative has garnered significant support from cloud industry leaders including Alibaba-Cloud, AWS, Huawei, Microsoft, and SAP, as well as major manufacturers. This collaborative effort will harmonize existing working groups and initiate new working groups for cloud-centric applications, aiming to utilize and extend OPC UA and foster interoperability between cloud solutions. This strategic initiative is set to reduce costs and improve the usability of OPC UA Information Models for cloud-based use cases.

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