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OPC Fights Recession by Maximizing Resources

Thomas Burke, president and executive director of the OPC Foundation, explains how OPC technology can combat an economic downturn by providing tools that maximize resources and improve productivity, communication and decision-making.

Aw 3000 09 05 Burke Photo Web

Welcome to the May 2009 edition of OPConnect, the official newsletter of the OPC Foundation. I'm pleased to promote the new look-and-feel of our newsletter. This new format is driven from the feedback we've received from our regular readers, and includes more need-to-know information on OPC news, technology and applications.

There are a lot of things going on in our global economy, and the importance of OPC and industry standards is even more significant than ever before with respect to helping maximize our use of resources and technology. An example of this is the momentum enjoyed by the adoption of the OPC Unified Architecture standard.

The OPC Foundation is really moving forward with OPC UA by facilitating vendors and end-users to actively develop and deploy products and services based on the technology. I encourage you to check out the OPC Foundation website,, and the list of companies that are currently developing products or have already released products based on the technology. OPC UA is the enabling technology for moving data/information from devices and applications all the way through the enterprise. It is truly multiplatform, secure, reliable interoperability, and will help your operations perform at their best by streamlining information sharing and decision-making.

The value proposition for end-users with respect to the OPC Unified Architecture can be boiled down to five simple points:

•    Ease-of-use
•    Reliability and redundancy
•    Simple security with no DCOM
•    High performance
•    Multi-vendor, multi-platform interoperable products.


I've been spending a lot of time participating in both vendor and multi-vendor events over the last six months. Even though our economy is very sluggish to say the least, it's a further testimony to OPC's value to see how many people are taking time off from their busy schedules to investigate opportunities for increasing efficiency. Every time I turn around, I see the expectations from the consumer electronics industry for secure, reliable, plug-and-play standards, drive similar expectations for interoperable standards in industrial automation. I encourage you to check out the OPC Foundation blog, where you will find great opportunities to hear from the OPC Foundation Technical Advisory Council and from Randy Armstrong to learn what's going on in the inner circle of the OPC Foundation.

Working groups and workshops

Collaboration continues to be the theme of the OPC Foundation in 2009, as we actively work on incorporating OPC into FDI, ADI, OpenO&M, and PLCOpen technology. Complete details about these important works in progress can be found on the OPC Foundation website. Upcoming demonstrations of the technology and collaboration are planned throughout the year.

The OPC Foundation is offering Developer Workshops this fall in both North America and Europe. These workshops provide the opportunity to learn the bits and bytes of the technology so your company can actively develop and build products based on OPC. As this is a hands-on workshop, the events are limited to 40 people, so sign up early.

In March of this year we held the North American interoperability workshop, and vendors tested both OPC COM-based products as well as OPC UA products. In September we will be holding another interoperability workshop in Germany, and we have recently announced the interoperability workshop for Japan to be held in June 2009.

I'm hoping that you find the new newsletter format very exciting, as we look for opportunities to provide the information that our readers really want. I highly encourage you to forward the OPConnect newsletter to your colleagues and friends, and also to provide us feedback on what you would like to see in future editions.

For more information, visit the OPC Foundation Web site, at, or send me your thoughts and comments at

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