As the key characteristic of Industrie 4.0, production is interlinked with modern information and communication technologies: Processes are fully automated and manufacturing as well as logistics are computerized. Man, machine and process control are digitally connected with one another to form an autonomous, intelligent system.
As production becomes more digitalized and connected, increasing amounts of sensors, machines and control units must communicate with each other resulting in a large number of required interfaces. In order for two devices to exchange data in modern networks, both must be precisely aware of the counterpart's communication and functional capabilities – accordingly, extensions and replacement have proven to be relatively difficult so far. OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture) now offers a solution. When using OPC UA, exactly one compliant interface is developed for each device which can then be integrated into scalable control and monitoring systems without much effort. As the standard for manufacturer independent communication in automation technology, OPC UA enables the universal interconnection of industrial bus systems and protocols. Machine-relevant and context-related information can be encapsulated and provided at any time.
Fraunhofer IPMS has developed a new software that implements the OPC UA AutoID companion specifications for RFID components. Various RFID readers from any supplier with different frequency ranges and diverse transponders can be directly controlled via this OPC-UA-AutoID-Server. This makes manufacturer- or frequency-specific integration efforts unnecessary. In the future, applications and services must establish only a connection to the server – time and effort spent on manually adapting individual control and security infrastructures to numerous manufacturer standards is thus eliminated. As the RFID OPC UA AutoID server developed by Fraunhofer IPMS is platform independent, it is able to utilize the RFID reader and RFID tags regardless of which frequency band is being used. In addition, it can be easily integrated into any OPC UA infrastructure.
Fraunhofer IPMS offers tailored RFID OPC UA AutoID server packages and services for reader manufacturers, RFID technology suppliers and system integrators.
Fraunhofer IPMS will introduce the RFID OPC UA AutoID server for the first time at the SENSOR+TEST measurement technology trade show, being held from 10. - 12. May 2016 in Nuremberg. Visitors can view the exhibition in Hall 5 at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft booth number 248.