Live Ethernet demo at Hannover Fair

The first demonstration of OPC Data eXchange (DX) inter-operability will take place at the Hannover Fair 2002.

A working multi-vendor system from different Fieldbus organisations will show interoperability between four systems across an Ethernet network using EtherNet/IP, Profinet, High Speed Ethernet (HSE), and Interbus protocols.

The systems used for the OPC DX demonstration are being provided by Rockwell Automation, Emerson Process Management, Siemens and Phoenix Contact. The demonstration showcases how manufacturing companies can utilise OPC DX for seamless exchange of plant information and integration between different fieldbus communication systems running over Ethernet.

The demonstration has been organised by the OPC Foundation in co-operation with Profibus International, Open DeviceNet Vendor Association (ODVA), ControlNet International, Fieldbus Foundation and Interbus Club.

The primary objective of the OPC DX standard is to deliver interoperability across a wide range of industrial fieldbuses, legacy measurement and automation systems. OPC DA provides a standard application programming interface that hides the details of the underlying technology from applications needing to access data from different fieldbuses. Today, OPC DA is typically used to provide vertical data integration between measurement devices and controllers on the factory floor and HMI, MES, ERP and supervisory control applications.

OPC DX will deliver peer-to-peer data exchange horizontally and vertically between different fieldbuses and automation systems which provide an OPC DX compliant server. The OPC DX specification will also define a new configuration interface. OPC DX defines a new standard to overcome communication barriers between fieldbus networks and delivers true multi-vendor interoperability in the industrial environment.

Release of the final OPC Data eXchange specification and sample code is planned for June 2002. A draft version of the OPC DX specification will be available in April.

The demonstration will be held on the OPC Foundation stand (H28), which is located in hall 7, at the Hannover Fair from April 15 to 20.