Better interoperability: OPC Foundation certification test lab

OPC Foundation opens its first Independent Certification Test Lab to boost plug and play.

By Control Engineering Staff March 3, 2008

Scottsdale, AZ –

OPC Foundation

is opening its first Independent Certification Test Lab to validate and certify OPC products . The lab is located at the facility of Ascolab in Erlangen, Germany. Certified products carry an appropriate logo. By specifying the purchase of OPC Certified products, users ensure interoperability of related products and software.

Commenting on the need, Weyerhaeuser process control advisor , Bruce Honda, laments, “Too much time has been spent by us in the past playing referee between suppliers who point fingers at each other instead of coming together to deliver solutions. Certifying to a common set of functions and features should assure that manufacturers like us get true compatibility between different supplier’s products.”

Reference hardware/software, the backbone of the lab and the basis for testing all other products, is provided by ABB, Beckhoff, Cyberlogic, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, Iconics, Kepware, Matrikon, OSI, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Softing, Software Toolbox, and Wonderware.

“Compliance certification will provide manufacturers with the confidence that their suppliers products will work right out of the box with any other suppliers product that’s compliance certified,” says Craig Resnick, research director,

ARC Advisory Group


Tom Burke, OPC Foundation president and executive director, explains, “Ascolab staff members have been designers and developers of OPC Certification tools since our earliest days. They are widely acknowledged as‘the experts’ in OPC Certification and they provide a solid foundation on which to build our certification program. Companies who purchase OPC-compliant products expect secure, reliable interoperability in a highly plug-and-play fashion. All products newly-certified by the Test Lab will carry a new ‘OPC Foundation Certified’ logo, thus providing end users with an assurance of excellence. The Certification program means that users can expect reduced system installation costs and products that will perform reliably in multivendor installations.”

John Weber, an OPC Foundation Member company and president ofthrough existing OPC Foundation self-certification testing. In the long term, as our Test Lab program rolls out worldwide, they will also look for the independent OPC Foundation Certification logo.”

Easier to maintain, startup : Paul Hunkar, OPC Foundation director of compliance and certification and consultant engineer at ABB, adds, “To successfully integrate complex systems using products from multiple vendors requires that products be completely interoperable and simple to maintain, while providing plug-and-play configuration and high reliability. The Independent Certification Test Lab system provides the infrastructure to ensure that vendors are designing and shipping high-quality, high-performance, and high-functionality products.”

Successfully-tested products and certification details will be posted on the foundation’s Website, where an online product catalog is provided.

What does OPC have to do with ISA88 Part 5? Find out in this blog posting.

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