Microsoft and the OPC Foundation Demonstrate Industry-Standard Interoperability at ISA Expo/98

, Oct. 19, 1998 — Today at ISA Expo/98, Microsoft Corp. and 20 leading industrial automation suppliers showcased new OLE for Process Control (OPC) Data Access 2.0 enhancements and demonstrated how companies can use OPC to exchange real-time data between disparate manufacturing applications running on various software and hardware devices.

The demonstration simulated a factory containing various industrial automation technologies seamlessly interacting through the industry-standard OPC framework, which is based on Microsoft® Component Object Model (COM) technology. The OPC industry standard is managed by the OPC Foundation, an international consortium of more than 165 leading suppliers working to solve integration problems for the process and manufacturing industries.

“It’s very encouraging to see the new enhancements to the OPC specification in action,”
said David Rehbein, president of the OPC Foundation.
“With the tremendous industry support and momentum behind the specification, OPC has the potential to significantly reduce factory integration headaches and provide greater efficiency to the day-to-day operations of manufacturers.”

ISA conference attendees can visit the Microsoft and OPC Foundation booth 372 to see the OPC factory demonstration, which features product offerings from 21 OPC Foundation members: Applicom International Inc., Aspen Technology Inc., Automsoft International, FactorySoft Inc., Fisher-Rosemount Systems Inc., Honeywell IAC, ICONICS Inc., Intellution Inc., Intrinsyc Software Inc., Microsoft Corp., Moore Products Co., National Instruments, OPTO 22, OSI Software Inc., Phoenix Contact GmbH, Rockwell Software Inc., Schneider Automation Inc., Sequencia Corp., Siemens AG Automation & Drives, Softing GmbH and Wonderware Corp.

The factory demonstration uses OPC to show real-time data flowing between several programmable logic controllers, control systems and distributed I/O manufactured by different suppliers communicating with a number of HMI/SCADA systems over an Ethernet local area network using TCP/IP. The HMI/SCADA systems show how OPC provides an open, industry-standard interface to communicate with any device or control system that provides an OPC server.

“OPC is a perfect example of how COM and the Windows® platform can be utilized to enhance industry-specific technology solutions,”
said Marcus Schmidt, industry marketing manager for manufacturing at Microsoft.
“By working closely with other leading software developers, we are extending our mutual vision of interoperability to include all applications within the four walls of a manufacturing plant and throughout the supply chain.”

Delivering Tomorrow’s Technologies Today

Because OPC is an open industry standard, users in process and manufacturing industries can be confident that any automation software product will work seamlessly with their company’s hardware products. By adopting OPC interface specifications, manufacturers and the suppliers that serve the manufacturing industry benefit from a much easier integration of field device and manufacturing floor information into a business’s information systems, faster delivery of new systems and enhancements, and decreased costs.

The new OPC specification is available for any company to utilize in the development of industry-leading line-of-business solutions. The specification is available at . Further information on Microsoft in manufacturing can be located at .

The OPC Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization of leading manufacturers and solution providers in factory and process automation. Their charter is to use Microsoft technologies to develop a global specification for multivendor hardware and software

interoperability in the manufacturing industries. The OPC Foundation’s Web address is .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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