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The future of your air compression: what is OPC UA?

Connectivity and the Internet of Things have played a key role in the realization of Industry 4.0. As the industry leader, Atlas Copco is committed to the seamless, secure and optimal integration of compressed air systems into the connected production. That is why we were the first manufacturer to offer OPC UA-enabled compressors for your machine-to-machine communication in the new GA VSDs compressors.

What is OPC UA?

GA VSDs OPC UA wireless air compressor control

OPC UA – the acronym for Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture – is a machine-to-machine communication protocol developed specifically for industrial automation. It is a universal language for machines in a production environment so that they can be connected and run as a more reliable and efficient system.


According to the OPC FOundation, OPC UA has become the “most widely adopted interoperability standard for secure, reliable and platform-independent information exchange in the world” since its introduction a decade ago.


For a long time, production equipment was not able to offer real interconnectivity.  Some remained mostly offline, others used different communication protocols. The development of OPC UA was a crucial step in achieving a connected production.


Why was OPC UA added to the VSDs air compressor?

We added OPC UA because we understand the importance of industrial connectivity. As a class A member of the OPC Foundation, we put theory into practice by being the first to introduce OPC UA-enabled compressors. Because, as the heart of a production process, compressors are too important to not be a part of Industry 4.0. 


Standardization of production equipment communication is only one benefit of OPC UA technology. It also offers

  • various encryption levels
  • authentication
  • auditing and user control to ensure the security mission-critical systems require

In addition, its plug and play installation and operation makes for straightforward coordination with other equipment.

Finally, the use of OPC UA technology will make it much easier to gather data from the different machines and optimize operations.


Atlas Copco’s entire new GA VSDs range offers OPC UA connectivity, meaning you can integrate your GA VSDs seamlessly and securely in your production network to achieve true system performance and efficiency. 



What other elements make the VSDs such a revolutionary compressor?

Understanding what OPC UA is and using it strategically is only one of the improvements our engineers designed. To make sure you get the best the market has to offer, they innovated other crucial components:



  • The unique drive train offers efficiency that another air end could never achieve
  • The inverter technology greatly reduces the amount of energy needed
  • Its oil cooling system, helps the series achieve IE 5 efficiency, allowing the VSDs to cut down on CO2 emissions
  • Thanks to the Boost Flow Mode, you can safely exceed maximum capacity when you need it most

  • You’ll save time and streamline your processes thanks to the high-end connectivity of the VSDs, both for remote control.

what is opc ua