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Industry groups join forces to standardise energy monitoring

28 June, 2022

Four industrial automation and manufacturing groups have joined forces to develop a standard interface for monitoring energy consumption in production processes, based on OPC UA. The four – ODVA, the OPC Foundation, PI (Profibus and Profinet International) and VDMA, which represents more than 3,400 German and European companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector – have set up a working group which plans to publish a new OPC UA specification including details of the interface.

Future releases of the OPC UA for Machinery specification will incorporate these results, ensuring that energy information from machines and components on the shopfloor can be provided in a standardised way as part of the Global Production Language.

Heiko Herden, technical project coordinator at VDMA, is chairing the new working group. He says its activities will be based on existing standards of the participating organisations, as well as other standards from the OPC Foundation, the VDMA, and external research. “In combination with other OPC UA for Machinery use cases – such as status monitoring or job management – it will be possible to calculate product and production-specific carbon footprints.”

“The four organisations are working at full speed to harmonise and standardise energy consumption information on the shopfloor,” explains Andreas Faath, head of the VDMA’s machine information interoperability department. “With this, a crucial building block, supporting the goal of global climate-neutral production in all sectors of the machinery and plant engineering industry, is under development.”

“Rapid transition to environmentally-sustainable energy use is the greatest challenge of our time and, as such, I am glad that we are proceeding together,” adds Stefan Hoppe, president of the OPC Foundation. “PI and ODVA are contributing their in-depth know-how on energy interfaces at the field level, with the internationally recognised OPC UA data-modelling standard defining semantics and secure data transport, serving as the foundation of the Global Production Language developed by the VDMA.”

“This power consumption management collaboration will help ensure end-users have a highly standardised and interoperable means to reach their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) goals,” says ODVA president and executive director, Al Beydoun.

Working group chair Heiko Herden: interface will allow users to calculate production carbon footprints

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