OPC UA ported for Android 2.2

Accessing production and process data with your smart phone, the industrial communication standard—OPC UA—enters the market of mobile devices.

UA Expert Mobile

Schwabach, October 2011.  Unified Automation assigns the porting of OPC Unified Architecture for the open operating system of many mobile devices, Android(TM) 2.2. On the trade show SPS/IPC/Drives in Nuremberg first products will be shown on Motorola Milestone. Evaluation Download NOW

Today’s smartphones are becoming more powerful and the tariff for data transmission (flat rates) are getting cheaper. Hence the usage of such communication infrastructure became affordable within the last years and the openness of the operating systems, like the Linux-based Android, allows implementation of nearly any specialized application without extra development environment directly on the phone or tablet PC.

The idea of worldwide mobile access to production data is not new, but was possible only with expensive and—in many cases unsecured—proprietary solutions. With the binary OPC Unified Architecture (UA) protocol a highly efficient and secure standard is available, that allows encrypted transmission, authenticated and authorized access and with inbuilt audit functionality traces who did which operation and when.

Since 2006 automation systems, same as HMI/SCADA systems, use this industry standard (IEC 62541) which can be implemented on small devices because of its scalability and which perfectly fits on wireless transmission because of its robustness.

It appeared to be obvious to combine a secured industrial transmission protocol with an existing communication infrastructure and make it useable for mobile applications” says Jürgen Boxberger, CEO of Unified Automation. “We put together what belongs together, and we open up new fields of application for our customers.

There are multiple market areas and use cases, starting from home automation, going through professional building management and ending up with diagnosis and service for complex industrial production plants. Same as using the smart phone for checking the weather forecast or the US Dollar exchange rate, the current energy production on your home based solar panels can be monitored. The facility manager can dial into the building for monitoring room temperatures and air-conditioning. The duty-service professionals already have access to the machines status information before even being on site. The  production manager can online view machine  utilization, production quantity and rejects parts.

Besides smartphones also Tablet PC are key focus when it comes to mobility in home and industrial automation applications based on OPC UA.

Android is registered trademark of Google Corporation in the United States and in other countries. The names of other companies mentioned in this text, their products and brands might be trademarks of the related owner.