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Automation specialist ABB has thrown its support behind the Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture (OPC UA) interoperability standard for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

When combined with Time Sensitive Networking (OPC UA over TSN), the OPC Foundation promises the new standard will enable devices from different vendors to communicate with each other, from field to controller to cloud.

ABB will take up a seat on the board of the OPC Foundation from 2019. Peter Terwiesch, president, ABB Industrial Automation Division, said OPC UA over TSN will help integration and spur innovation.

"ABB has long been a pioneer within the automation industry developing leading-edge technologies to deliver solutions to some of industry’s greatest challenges,” said Terwiesch.

“That we have taken a leading role in reaching this historic milestone for open standards and interoperability in industrial automation, which will see major dividends for both customers and suppliers alike, is further testament to our commitment, expertise and vision to unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0.”

According to Bernhard Eschermann, CTO, ABB Industrial Automation Division and designated board member of OPC Foundation, OPC UA over TSN will allow companies to employ multi-vendor IIoT solutions without the need for expensive software development.

"Customers across the industrial landscape will no longer be bound to suppliers based on the communications protocol used," said. "Adoption of the new standard will open up cross-industry collaboration and encourage partnerships driven by what creates the most value for customers."

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