Thursday, September 16, 2010

HUGE Day for Manufacturing, MTConnect and the OPC Foundation - MoU

Today is a HUGE day for manufacturing, MTConnect and the OPC Foundation!  This was Memorandum of Understanding was announced at IMTS this morning.  
We are really looking forward to working with Tom Burke and the entire OPC Foundation Group to help manufacturing.
Below is the press release.  

For Immediate Release: September 16, 2010


Thomas Burke

OPC Foundation


Dave Edstrom
® Institute


OPC Foundation and MTConnect® Institute
Announce A Memorandum Of Understanding

Chicago, Il. … Today, September 16, 2010, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show, the OPC Foundation and the MTConnect® Institute are announcing a joint Memorandum of Understanding. OPC and MTConnect will cooperate in developing standards called MTConnectOpcUa. MTConnectOpcUa is a set of companion specifications to ensure interoperability and consistency between MTConnect specifications and OPC specifications, as well as the manufacturing technology equipment, devices, software or other products that implement those standards.
Tom Burke, President and Chairman of the Board for the OPC Foundation, stated, MTConnect & OPC collaborating will provide the necessary infrastructure to revolutionize interoperability for the complete spectrum of manufacturing technology, by leveraging the standards of both organizations, evolving the technology that has already been well accepted and adopted by the suppliers.” Dave Edstrom, President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute has stated, “This is not just a win for MTConnect and OPC, this is a huge step forward for manufacturing interoperability around the globe.”

This agreement provides a mechanism for OPC and MTConnect to collaborate to extend the reach of the existing manufacturing data exchange standards and implementation technologies in order to:
  • Evolve the existing standards for each organization to provide complete manufacturing 
    technology interoperability.
  • Provide the mechanism for continuous improvement of standards and specifications overseen by
    each body.
  • Work directly with the end users and suppliers of technology and manufacturing.
  • Provide a coordinating function to exchange insights, identify overlaps, and harmonize work 
    where appropriate.
  • Facilitate clear communication and education for users and others concerning possible overlaps 
    and the ways the standards and specifications can be used.
  • Provide a solid foundation to develop and deliver specifications, technology and processes to
    facilitate adoption of the technology into real products.
MTConnect® InstituteMTConnect Institute is an organization that develops and provides open standards intended to foster greater interoperability between manufacturing controls, devices and software applications by publishing data over networks using the Internet Protocol (IP). The standards offer a solution to the exchange of data from shop floor devices to higher level systems.
OPC FoundationThe OPC Foundation pursues interoperability in automation by creating and maintaining open specifications that standardize the communication of acquired process data, alarm and event records, historical data, and batch data to multi-vendor enterprise systems and between production devices.

MAG's Impressive eWARE Suite At IMTS 2010

In the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) MTConnect section, we have a number of companies who have been very strong supporters of MTConnect and clearly MAG Industrial Automation Systems is certainly one of those top companies.

Tuesday, I was very fortunate to be able to spend some time with Pete Tecos, VP of Strategic Growth Initiatives for MAG Industrial Automation Systems, at their booth (S-8519).   Pete gave me a great overview and demonstration of their  new Freedom eWARE™ software suite from e-tekx.  During the demo,  Jeff Price - CTO MAG's Control Systems, stopped by as well to discuss eWARE.

I was very impressed to learn that MAG supports MTConnect on all of their new systems via their eConnect module.    It was also interesting to learn that eWARE is "target independent,"  and can gather data from a variety of plant floor assets.  eWARE  can do this without the need to modify ladder logic or part programming.  eWARE seems to fit in perfectly with the MTConnect mantra of, "Different Devices, Common Connection."

Being from the Washington, DC area, I was extremely impressed to later learn that eWARE is certified as networthy.  What this means is that eWARE is certified as secure, supportable and compatible with the Army Enterprise Infrastructure (AEI).

What also impressed me about eWARE is their architecture that has eCONNECT a a central hub which then acts as the central data and control point for:
  • eVIEW
  • eNERGY
  • eCELL
  • eLOG
Near the end of our discussion, Bill Horwarth, President of MAG, stopped by and we discussed eWARE and I mentioned the benefits of cloud computing to Bill.

Huge thanks to Pete, Jeff and Bill for taking time out of their busy IMTS schedule to show me eWARE - very impressive!

I would encourage everyone to stop by MAG Industrial Automation Systems, at their booth (S-8519) ask to see a demonstration of eWARE.  Tell them Dave Edstrom sent you....