Aims and objectives
In recent years, with the progress of PCs and rapid dissemination on the Internet, IT-based innovations have been accelerated in factories as well. It is now common for the industrial robots and devices that play key roles in factory automation to be connected to networks, enabling PCs to access data managed by devices for production management, facility diagnosis and other purposes. On the other hand, the specifications of the networks that connect PCs and devices (such as media and protocols), as well as the mechanisms for using them (such as API specifications to call communication means), are specific to each manufacturer. As a result, enormous cost and labor have been required for the establishment of systems that combines different communications specifications.
In this context, ORiN (Open Resource Interface for the Network / Open Robot Interface for the Network) was created as an open interface to offer an integrated access means to devices, beyond differences between manufacturers and models in the network environment. The ORiN project was launched as a three-year project of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in fiscal year 1999, and since then, the development has been promoted at the initiative of the Japan Robot Association. Major robot manufacturers in Japan have also participated in the project, and its practicality was enhanced through demonstration tests at the International Robot Exhibitions of 1999 and 2001. In fiscal year 2001, the specifications of ORiN Version 1.0 were defined, and the development of ORiN software compatible with these specifications was completed.
ORiN allows devices to share specifications for access interface to make calls from application software and specifications for data. While the first target for the application of ORiN was robots, since the early years we have promoted its development with the concept of “gradual standardization” to make it applicable to a wide range of industrial devices. As a result, we have successfully enabled application software to access in an integrated manner data managed by devices, and handle them beyond differences between manufacturers, devices and communication methods – for the first time in the world. This is expected to stimulate the development of a variety of application software by third parties, as well as the establishment of multivendor systems. ORiN is also anticipated to have economic impacts such as the improvement of manufacturing competitiveness, the expansion of the FA market, the entry of software businesses into the FA market and the creation of the FA engineering industry.
After the establishment of the specifications of ORiN Version 1.0, preparations to launch ORiN Consortium were begun, at the initiative of the members who had engaged in the development since the beginning. Then in October 2002, the consortium was set up within the Japan Robot Association to promote ORiN’s widespread use and associated education, its many advantages, and its improvement in response to the needs of the times.
With support from NEDO, we have launched a project to develop ORiN3, which is a new standard designed with an eye to Industrie 4.0 and IoT.