The OPC Foundation (www.opcfoundation.org), which oversees the OPC open communications standard, announced on Feb. 9 the release of the draft Analyzer Devices Integration (ADI) specification. This new specification provides the pharmaceutical industry with a common method for data exchange for analyzer data models for process and laboratory analyzers.
Developed as a logical extension of the OPC UA (Unified Architecture) specifications, the OPC ADI specification serves as an information model for analyzer devices and is intended to enable true plug-and-play multivendor interoperability. Analyzer integration based on standards offers a unique opportunity in data management and integration for solutions such as Process Analytical Technology (PAT), the Foundation said.
The OPC ADI specification addresses several types of analyzers, including spectrometers and particle-size analyzers. Further clarifications and additions of other analyzer types will be the focus of the OPC ADI effort in 2009 with the final release of the OPC ADI specification scheduled for the second half of 2009.
The release of the new specification continues to follow the OPC Foundation’s founding principles of providing end-users with the ability to implement “Quality by Design” in their manufacturing systems. Analyzers will no longer be isolated, proprietary systems, but will be based on OPC UA specifications and have the ability to easily interact with complete plant systems through open communications, the Foundation said.
“The release of the ADI standard enables us to provide the industry with analytical products based on open connectivity that interoperate with manufacturing system much more efficiently than was possible before ADI,” said Thomas Buijs, product manager at ABB.
The OPC Foundation working group, composed of end-users and vendors, collaborated to define and finalize the specification. The working group has grown from several founding members to a large, multi-industry group that includes large pharmaceutical and food companies, and vendors of analytical devices, control systems and integration software. The working group represents both Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and laboratory industries.
“The OPC ADI effort is a great example of vendors, integrators and end-users collaborating to solve a problem. The tremendous progress achieved by the OPC ADI Working Group proves that OPC UA provides a solid foundation for development of information models,” said Thomas Burke, OPC Foundation president.