OPC UA – platform-independent direct data exchange
While OPC has so far been based on Microsoft COM/DCOM technology, we have been using the new generation of OPC standards, the OPC Unified Architecture.
One of the most important innovations of OPC Unified Architecture is the ability to implement OPC UA applications platform-independently. The direct and standardized exchange of data between controlling systems and MES systems has now become possible.
This is because data coding and transport protocols for the data exchange have been defined along with methods for data access. This permits the integration of OPC interfaces directly into the embedded system or software systems on different platforms.
With a direct connection from the OPC UA to the iTAC.MES.Suite, the software can now access a standardized network protocol without detours and guarantee an efficient data exchange between the systems. For Ethernet-based UA communication, the software accesses standard elements such as XML-based web services or an efficient TCP-based binary protocol.
The OPC Unified Architecture offers a further simplification in that all types of information known to OPC, such as data, events, historical data and the additional access to historical events and commands are listed in one object model with unified access mechanisms.
In addition, the new model is used to describe and exchange complex data for the standardization of security measures for authentication and data encryption, as a possibility for audit mechanisms and a redundancy concept.
With OPC UA, the complex data required by MES systems can be transferred directly as a block.
The required configuration effort, which is very high unless OPC client and server operate on the same PC, is significantly reduced at the same time. The configuration of an additional PC is no longer needed, the configuration between PLC and OPC UA servers always remains consistent.
Find out more about the OPC UA solution in the iTAC.MES.Suite here.