THE Singapore Industrial Automation Association (SIAA) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with OPC Hub Asean to help SIAA members expand their Industry 4.0 connectivity capabilities in their manufacturing facilities.
The MOU focuses on helping companies implement the Singapore Standard (SS) IEC 62541, Singapore's version of the widely accepted IEC 62541 series of international standards for communication, commonly known as the Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture.
Under the MOU, OPC Hub Asean will provide SIAA member companies with technical advisory services around using SS IEC 62541, and training to build up system integrators' capabilities in industrial control systems.
Adopting Industry 4.0 standards like the SS IEC 62541 will enable standardised communication between machines, which could be legacy equipment, new machines or equipment from different vendors. This will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reduce integration costs in future and reduce challenges in incorporating more advanced automation systems into their processes.
This will also help local companies in the automation, robotics and system integration sectors develop interoperable, secure and scalable products that meet both local and international requirements.
SIAA president Terence Teo noted that manufacturers need Industry 4.0 solutions that are cost effective, safe from cyberattacks and compatible with existing systems. The industry best practices contained in standards like SS IEC 62541 help businesses build up their capabilities to develop innovative products and services, which in turns help them earn customers' trust and confidence in their solutions to meet their requirements both now and in the future.
Mr Teo added: "In addition, using standards will help improve the branding of their products and services so that they can capture new opportunities in overseas markets."
David Chia, head of OPC Hub Asean, said the challenge of integrating equipment from different vendors is a key obstacle to companies in realising the full benefit of Industry 4.0 technologies.
"Using common standards will reduce integration costs for both system integrators and businesses, and ensure the Industry 4.0 solutions are future-ready and scalable," Mr Chia said. "This also enables companies to focus more on their core business of developing innovative products and solutions to serve their clients."
The partnership is supported by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Singapore Standards Council as part of efforts to drive industry-led initiatives to promote the adoption of standards. ESG will provide "affordable access" to a library of Industry 4.0 standards that SIAA members can reference and use in their solutions.