OPC is an established and recognized standard for data exchange between control and HMI in manufacturing and process automation. Previous OPC technology is based on the Microsoft COM/DCOM model and is limited to a Microsoft-based operating system. The new OPC UA standard is based on TCP communication and is, therefore, platform-independent. A "Unified Architecture" specification creates the basis for new platform-independent communication and information technologies. Direct UA TCP communication is available as soon as a PLC is available in the network. In addition to standardized exchange of PLC process data, the OPC UA solution offers device-specific information and services.