In an industrial automation system, device identity and compatibility refers to the process and mechanisms used to check that AutomationComponents (e.g., controllers, drives, IO devices) in a system allow operation that is consistent or compatible with what was expected by system engineering.

It is a common practice that various properties of communicating AutomationComponents are verified to check that:

  • AutomationComponents present in a system are either consistent with system engineering (i.e., match expectation), or
  • their communication interfaces and exhibited application behaviour are compatible with system engineering expectations.

There are several scenarios where the verification of various properties of an AutomationComponent is utilized in an automation system:

  • ensuring that AutomationComponents match system engineering expectations during commissioning or initiating communication (e.g., detecting potentially missing Assets like IO modules in a modular IO system);
  • replacing or updating an AutomationComponent or any of its subcomponents.

Identity and compatibility verification can be done at any time (and executed by any AutomationComponent or tool that knows expected properties and their values) as long as the AutomationComponents can be accessed via standard OPC UA Client / Server services. In an automation system, verification is typically done before AutomationComponents participate in the industrial control application or process. It is crucial to ensure that the participating AutomationComponents will supply output data (to a consuming AutomationComponent) and use the input data (from a producing AutomationComponent) in an expected way.

This document defines verification modes and a verification Method for Assets, which provides the possibility to verify an Asset’s identity and whether or not it performs at a level that is compatible with what is expected by system engineering. For FunctionalEntities, a verification Method is defined, which may be used to verify instance-specific properties (e.g., identifying properties) to ensure that it is consistent with what is expected by system engineering.

The subsequent clauses provide the general concepts for identity and compatibility verification.