In order to obtain a uniform, cross-manufacturer communication standard, Phoenix Contact and other companies are supporting the OPC Foundation in its efforts to harmonise and standardise OPC UA up to the field level. Phoenix Contact will be part of the OPC Foundation's working groups and thus define a new standard for every device in OT, from sensors to actuators through to controllers.
Apart from cross-manufacturer harmonisation of application profiles in the field, like I/O, Safety, or Motion, Phoenix Contact reportedly sees a great opportunity in the standardisation of device models as well. The uniform configuration and diagnostics of devices in the network as well as standardised conformity tests will ensure high, manufacturer-independent compatibility of automation components in the future.
In addition, the integration of the Time Sensitive Networking technology (TSN) into the OPC UA standard offers new, necessary possibilities for real-time-capable communication in the network. Time synchronisation and data prioritisation ensure that IT and OT communication won't interfere or influence each other in the network. Taken together, this will enable the widespread connection of field devices to the cloud in the future, thereby permitting the consistent and universal connection of IT and OT.