OPC UA, the “United Nations of Automation”

04/2019

Coverstory: The OPC Foundation is committed to creating a universal, global information exchange standard for automation. All companies worldwide are invited to engage in secure and transparent M2M communication.

Use cases with Faun Services, Stadium, and MHP – A Porsche Company as well as content from the OPC Foundation, Axem Technology, EM Microelectronic, and Elatec.

In this issue

Dear readers,

It is amazing to learn about excellent technological developments that are being put into practice in the shadow of large automotive projects. The company Faun of small-town Osterholz-Scharmbeck in Lower Saxony is certainly a very good example of this.

Its manufacturing facility for garbage pick-up trucks and street cleaning vehicles is only an hour's drive from our own publishing offices, yet is doing innovative tech work that one would expect to see coming out of a capital city. Celebrating its 150th anniversary next year, the company can look back upon a history of strong benefits that resulted from excellent leadership. Today, sustainability and environmentalism are a large part of Faun's guidelines.

Visiting the company headquarters, I was able to not only interview CEO Bernhard Oppmann, but also Head of Research Georg Sandkühler. Our videographer Stephan Lukow filmed the interviews, which were marked by openness, conviction for Faun's ecological goals and excitement about the vehicles being prepared for production in 2020.

As far back as 2006, a team of four started developing a h ydrogen propulsion engine. Today, as production-readiness is within reach and the vehicles just months away from being shipped, the team has grown significantly. The fact that automotive developments in Germany can draw on complex and all-encompassing engineering developments is not that surprising, but that a company has placed its bets on alternative engines as early as 2006 and then, to boot, chooses to develop a hydrogen propulsion engine rather than an electric one, is reall y quite amazing! The right decision at the right time!

One might say that the openness which we experienced in the interviews is easy to come by on the back of such successful developmental work and full order books, but that doesn't quite cut it, in my opinion. I believe that this company in Osterholz-Scharmbeck produces vehicles of extremely high quality and equips them for the future.

Apart from that though, the attitude is rare among automotive OEMs. No information ban, no cancellations, no empty promises, no waiting around for article clearance – this creates trust in the brand and its technological developments. Especially in view of the disruptive changes and their sources in the automotive market right now, it is wholesome and commendable that there are innovation efforts at large which rely on sustainability, brand protection and openness towards customers.

Please also read the article 'Clean and quiet: the future of waste disposal' on pages 22–25.

Anja Van Bocxlaer
Chief Editor RFID & Wireless IoT Global

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