Industry experts agree that the importance and innovation potential of machine vision for automated production will continue to increase. VISION 2018 organizers say the machine vision specification published in mid-2018, i.e., the Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture Companion Specification (OPC UA Vision), is promoting the innovation process in the machine vision industry. A large number of the more than 460 exhibitors at VISION will present their solutions for machine vision in Industry 4.0 in Stuttgart, Germany, from 6 to 8 November 2018.
One language for Industry 4.0 communication in future
OPC UA Vision is an open, Ethernet-based standard for communication and data exchange in networked systems. The new standard is supported by nearly every relevant automation manufacturer and allows machines in smart factories to speak the same language. Dr Christian Mosch from the VDMA Industry 4.0 Forum describes the significance of the standard as follows: "Publication of the OPC UA Companion Specification for machine vision is an important step towards cross-manufacturer interoperability in mechanical engineering. Industry 4.0 communication in future will be based on this development and will be enhanced still further.“
Quicker development for greater efficiency
According to Dr Horst Heinol-Heikkinen, Chairman of the OPC UA Vision Initiative of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and Managing Director of Asentics, the advantages for users are easier configuration and integration in existing automation systems. "Interoperability is the key to differentiation of our products in a networked Industry 4.0 world," says Heinol-Heikkinen.
Karlheinz Hohm, Vice President R&D Industrial Automation at Isra Vision, also regards the current activities relating to OPC UA Vision in a positive light: "Easier integration of machine vision in automation makes production processes more efficient and also more flexible. Since no expert knowledge whatsoever is needed for integration and use, users can quickly and easily automate their production themselves.“