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OPC 40010 UA for Robotics

The OPC 40010 series provides standardized OPC UA information models for industrial robots.

The VDMA OPC Robot­ics Ini­ti­at­ive was estab­lished in 2017 to bring togeth­er robot man­u­fac­tur­ers with the aim of dis­cuss­ing and devel­op­ing a com­mon, usable, future-proof inter­face for indus­tri­al robots. OPC UA was iden­ti­fied as the obvi­ous choice for the cre­ation of such a stand­ard since it provides fea­ture-rich stand­ard­ized mech­an­isms to describe vendor-inde­pend­ent inter­faces sup­por­ted by a strong inform­a­tion model.

As a joint work­ing group, the ini­ti­at­ive is organ­ized by VDMA Robot­ics + Auto­ma­tion and sup­por­ted by the OPC Found­a­tion. Over the last years, the core work­ing group of this ini­ti­at­ive, a group of experts from 14 com­pan­ies, have developed Part 1 of the VDMA OPC Robot­ics Com­pan­ion Spe­cific­a­tion. Part 1 is the first step in the gradu­al design-in towards a fully con­nec­ted Indus­tri­al Inter­net of Things (IIoT). It enables ver­tic­al pro­vi­sion­ing of inform­a­tion from the lower (Sensor/Actuator) to the high­er (Con­trol, SCADA, MES, Cloud) levels of the auto­ma­tion pyramid.

The OPC Robot­ics Inform­a­tion Mod­el can be used to describe all cur­rent and future robot­ics systems:

  • indus­tri­al robots
  • mobile robots
  • addi­tion­al axes
  • con­trol units 
  • peri­pher­al devices, which do not have their own
    OPC UA server

Part 1 cov­ers these use cases:

  • Struc­tur­ing of an integ­rated robot sys­tem into its con­stitu­ent components
  • Vendor-inde­pend­ent access to asset inform­a­tion of all integ­rated robot sys­tems and their components
  • Rep­res­ent­a­tion of motion devices con­tain­ing one or more axes.
  • Rep­res­ent­a­tion of con­trol­lers includ­ing their soft­ware and task controls.
  • Rep­res­ent­a­tion of com­mon safety states of a motion device system.
  • Com­mon con­di­tion mon­it­or­ing para­met­ers of the com­pon­ents of an integ­rated robot system
  • Iden­ti­fic­a­tion of anom­alies based on the con­di­tion mon­it­or­ing parameters

Ongo­ing work to extend Part 1 with:

  • addIns for remote oper­a­tion i.e. load­ing, unload­ing, start­ing, stop­ping programs.
  • addIns to provide the single point of con­trol mech­an­ism.
  • a dia­log mech­an­ism to handle sys­tem noti­fic­a­tions that need to be accep­ted by the operator.