GF Machining Offers OPC UA 1.0 Common Communication Solution

GF Machining now offers OPC UA version 1.0 as a cross-platform communication and connectivity solution, pushing closer to the Industry 4.0 ideal.


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As part of its push towards Industry 4.0, GF Machining Solutions now offers North American manufacturers the Open Platform Communications (OPC) Unified Architecture (UA) interface version 1.0 as a connectivity solution. The OPC Foundation’s cross-platform interface paradigm provides a common communication language across GF Machining Solutions’ products, technologies and services, while simplifying connection to existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This streamlines the collection and analysis of personalized key performance indicator (KPI) measurements across operational levels.

GF’s digital solutions like the rConnect Dashboard work in tandem with the OPC UA interface to help manufacturers reduce machine downtime, monitor performance across entire facilities, fully automate operations and ensure manufacturing process compliance. Version 1.0 of the OPC UA works with rConnect Dashboard to collect data and make it accessible on the shop floor or through mobile devices.

GF Machining Solutions leverages OPC UA to gather information from five major data groups: machine identity, state/status information, process information, utilization and logs. Machine identity includes meta information for identification; machine state data lists basic information like the machine’s current assigned job and activity status; process information provides remote access to messages, warnings and errors from the machine; utilization data traces KPIs like actual production time (APT), actual unit setup time (AUST), actual unit delay time (ADET), actual unit busy time (AUBT) and actual unit processing time (AUPT); and logs track the start and end times of jobs, multiple executions of a job, lead time, start/end time and numerical control (NC) program names.

Because the interface involves connectivity to office networks and the internet, OPC UA features built-in security based on standards such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Encrypted Communication Data based on Advanced Encryption Standards (AES). The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) recognizes OPC UA as the IEC 62541 standard.