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PI1219Has changed early Profibus + Profinet International (PI) for OPC UA as an open cross-manufacturer standard for machine-machine communication. However, to round off the technology, there was previously no standard for fail-safe communication at this level. This solves the specification "OPC Unified Architecture Part 15: Safety", a joint development by the OPC Foundation and PI. The technical work is now complete.

The modularization of systems has been a driving force behind the technology since the introduction of fieldbuses. Individual machines could thus be developed independently of one another and only put into operation together on the system. With OPC UA, technology is now in the starting blocks that enables cross-manufacturer networking between the machines, regardless of the fieldbuses used within the machine. However, OPC UA has so far not had the option of transmitting fail-safe data, as is usual with Profisafe fieldbuses. Therefore, safety functions had to be carried out conventionally with direct cabling or couplers. This increases the effort and reduces the flexibility.

The technical work on OPC UA Safety has now been completed. The next step is the development of a test specification and a software tool for the automatic test. This also includes the establishment of a certification and acceptance procedure analogous to Profisafe. This is the prerequisite for simple and quick safety certification of products that implement OPC UA Safety. On the other hand, case studies are created to demonstrate the new features of OPC UA Safety. This includes the simplified administration of secure addresses for series machines and the possibility of being able to communicate with different partners over the same connection during runtime. Furthermore, an OPC UA mapper for pub / sub is specified in order to be able to implement security functions with high demands on the response time.

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