Automate and Control LTD adopted OPC UA as it’s standard for integration into plant, ERP MES and SAP.
We highly recommend a book from John S. Rinaldi, the founder of Real Time Automation, OPC UA: The Everyman’s Guide to OPC UA, available now on Amazon! When automating your plant John’s book is a fantastic introduction to OPC UA.
So what is OPC UA and how does it benefit my organisation.
OPC UA is the next generation of OPC technology. OPC UA is a more secure, open, reliable mechanism for transferring information between Servers and Clients or SAP and and Vision Inspection Systems. It provides more open transports, better security and a more complete information model than the original OPC DA, “OPC Classic.” OPC UA provides a very flexible and adaptable mechanism for moving data between enterprise-type systems and the kinds of controls, monitoring devices and sensors that interact with real-world data.
OPC UA uses scalable platforms, multiple security models, multiple transport layers and a sophisticated information model to allow the smallest dedicated controller to freely interact with complex, high-end server applications. OPC UA can communicate anything from simple downtime status to massive amounts of highly complex plant-wide information.
Feature of this unique technology include:
Scalability – OPC UA is scalable and platform-independent. It can be supported on high-end Servers and on low-end sensors. UA uses discoverable profiles to include tiny embedded platforms as Servers in a UA system.
A Flexible Address Space – The OPC UA Address Space is organized around the concept of an Object. Objects are entities that consist of Variables and Methods and provide a standard way for Servers to transfer information to Clients.
Commonality – Common Transports and Encodings – OPC UA uses standard transports and encodings to ensure that connectivity can be easily achieved in both embedded and enterprise environments.
Industry Grade Security – OPC UA implements a sophisticated Security Model that ensures the authentication of Client and Servers, the authentication of users and the integrity of their communication.
Internet Capability – OPC UA is fully capable of moving data over the Internet
A Robust Set of Services – OPC UA provides a full suite of services for Eventing, Alarming, Reading, Writing, Discovery and more.
Certified Interoperability – OPC UA certifies profiles such that connectivity between a Client and Server using a defined profile can be guaranteed.
Sophisticated Information Model – OPC UA profiles more than just an Object Model. OPC UA is designed to connect Objects in such a way that true Information can be shared between Clients and Servers.
Sophisticated Alarming and Event Management – UA provides a highly configurable mechanism for providing alarms and event notifications to interested Clients. The Alarming and Event mechanisms go well beyond the standard change-in-value type alarming found in most protocols.
Integration with Standard Industry-Specific Data Models – The OPC Foundation is working with several industry trade groups that define specific Information Models for their industries to support those Information Models within UA.