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Automation, Control & Plant Intelligence News Updates   |   March, 2009
OPC Foundation Certification Test Lab Opens in North America

Scottsdale, Arizona, March 23, 2009 - The OPC Foundation announced today that it has officially opened a North American Certification Test Lab to validate and certify OPC products. This new lab joins the first OPC Test Lab opened in Erlangen, Germany in 2008. As uncertain economic times force new demands on every industry, companies that want to maintain their leadership position need to make future facing decisions when considering their network architectures. No company can afford to take chances, and that is the underlying premise behind creating a local North American test lab: local experts, testing local products, in a local environment.

"Companies in today’s changing economy need assurance and confidence in the products they buy and solutions they implement," commented Thomas Burke, OPC President. "They expect secure, reliable, plug-and-play software solutions that are future ready and scalable. The OPC Foundation has always been committed to upholding the true standards of interoperability and the new North American Test Lab is a continuation of the Foundation’s commitment to ensuring excellence of software production among its members."

"Compliance certification provides end-users, manufacturers, and integrators with one thing – confidence," said Burke. "The North American Test Lab was built on proven principles established by other open-standard organizations like PROFIBUS, PROFINET and Fieldbus Foundation. Compliance testing in these organizations has resulted in bulletproof products that exceed end-user expectations. The new North American Certification Test Lab will usher in a new level of confidence for individuals who are integrating software into complex systems from multiple vendors. Software certified from the OPC Foundation North American Test Lab will truly be a step above the rest."

Eric Murphy, Chair of the OPC Foundation HDA Committee stated, "The economic pressures of today’s market mean end-users face real issues and tough problems. As the crunch comes down users need to squeeze more value out of their systems. Now more than ever integrators need projects to go smoothly, and end-users demand higher reliability and performance from the products they purchase. The way to achieve these goals is to ensure the OPC products being used meet the tough standards of the Independent OPC Certification process like those provided by the new North American Independent Certification Test Lab."

End-users looking for true interoperability seek out OPC Servers and OPC Clients that have passed the rigors of Independent Test Lab Certification. They have a peace of mind knowing their software has passed the OPC Foundation’s highest level of compliance testing. "With the opening of the new Test Lab comes a change in OPC Foundation policy. Vendors who wish to use the term "OPC UA" in their product name must pass certification through the Test Lab. This strict certification process is designed to provide a new level of mandatory quality assurance and a peace of mind for end-users of OPC UA products," said Burke.

As with the existing test lab, the North American Certification Test Lab will reference hardware and software from many OPC Foundation members including ABB, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, and Wonderware, among others.

About the OPC Foundation
The OPC Foundation, dedicated to interoperability in automation and enterprise computing, is an independent, non-profit organization that comprises leading manufacturers and solution providers in factory and process automation as well as providers of enterprise solutions. The OPC Foundation's charter is to develop worldwide industry standards for data transfer necessary in the manufacturing and process industries, by leveraging open computing technologies. Board members and officers are unpaid volunteers. Development of specifications is undertaken by volunteers from 440+ members worldwide. For more information about the OPC Foundation visit http://www.opcfoundation.org.

Source Contact:
Thomas Burke
President and Executive Director
OPC Foundation
Ph: 480-483-6644
Fax: 480-483-7202
thomas.burke@opcfoundation.org
www.opcfoundation.org


Media Contact:
Manny Mandrusiak
Vice President OPC Marketing
OPC Foundation
Ph: 480-483-6644
Fax: 480-483-7202
manny.mandrusiak@opcfoundation.org
www.opcfoundation.org

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