Machinery Initiative aims to ease integration, promote productivity in industrial networking, manufacturing

ODVA has launched Machinery Initiative as SERCOS International and OPC Foundation participating as Alliance Partners, to ease machinery integration into the industrial manufacturing ecosystem.


ODVA has launched its Machinery Initiative designed to improve the integration of machinery with the industrial manufacturing ecosystem. Through this initiative, ODVA said it would develop a comprehensive and open interoperability framework that will help machine builders drive innovation and productivity improvements for end users. ODVA’s open approach to its framework will include alliances with other vendor-neutral standards development organizations, starting with SERCOS International and OPC Foundation, to foster cross-collaboration on topics of mutual interest for machinery applications, the organization said in the related announcement.

“ODVA embraces an open and inclusive approach to innovation in information and communication technology for OEM machinery,” said Katherine Voss, executive director, ODVA. “ODVA looks forward to collaboration with its members as well as increased dialogue with other open standards development organizations for the benefit of both vendors and users.”

Users are increasingly relying on machine builders to provide the functionality needed to integrate machines with overall production processes and the enterprise. Research into the OEM machinery market identified four key areas where focus on an open interoperability framework can provide this functionality. These areas include machine optimization – which includes application areas related to safety, energy and motion – as well as connectivity; information exchange; and device definition and configuration.

Building on the existing collaboration between ODVA and SERCOS International (SI) in the area of functional safety, SI has agreed to participate with ODVA as an alliance partner in its Machinery Initiative. “The cooperation with ODVA and the joint support of CIP Safety has created substantial technical and market synergies for the safety network community,” said Peter Lutz, managing director, SI. “These positive experiences are what convinced SI to expand its collaboration with ODVA.”

As a standard development organization for SCADA systems, the OPC Foundation is very excited about participation as an ODVA alliance partner. “Focus on this interoperable framework will provide guidance to machine builders on designing equipment for superior connectivity, helping end-user customers access data from their machinery and correlate it with data derived from their control, SCADA and MES systems,” said Thomas J. Burke, president and executive director, OPC Foundation.

As its first action in its Machinery Initiative, ODVA has formed a task force to identify key milestones to ensure the appropriate input is received from machine builders on the process. The initiative will encompass technical work by the organization, as well as workshops with its alliance partners to identify initial areas of cross collaboration.

“End users seek integration and connectivity of their plantwide systems to all their key assets, especially OEM-machinery, in order for their production and enterprise applications to measure and better understand what is happening in their manufacturing processes, helping to cut costs and increase productivity,” according to Craig Resnick, research director, ARC Advisory Group. “ODVA’s Machinery Initiative will enable end users to access data previously hidden in their machines by eliminating technical barriers, then leveraging this data into actionable information that can be used to provide business value, such as overall equipment effectiveness and other key performance indicators.”


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