OPC UA is an open and royalty free standard designed as a universal communication protocol. The key advantages of OPC UA are:

  • A state of art security model (see OPC 10000-2).
  • A fault tolerant communication protocol.
  • An information modelling framework that allows application developers to represent their data in a way that makes sense to them.

OPC UA has a broad scope which delivers for economies of scale for application developers. This means that a larger number of high-quality applications at a reasonable cost are available. When combined with semantic models such as the ones defined in the OPC UA CS Mining sub part IREDES, OPC UA makes it easier for end users to access data via generic commercial applications.
The OPC UA model is scalable from small devices to ERP systems. OPC UA Servers process information locally and then provide that data in a consistent format to any application requesting data – ERP, MES, PMS, Maintenance Systems, HMI, Smartphone or a standard Browser, for examples. For a more complete overview see OPC 10000-1.

Basics of OPC UA

As an open standard, OPC UA is based on standard internet technologies, like TCP/IP, HTTP, Web Sockets.

As an extensible standard, OPC UA provides a set of Services (see OPC 10000-4) and a basic information model framework. The IREDES OPC UA model contains the definitions as made by the IREDES organization which retains the responsibility for future definitions and extensions. The information model currently contains most of the IREDES types and applicationBaseClasses. the LHD equipment profile is fully covered. If there’s substantial interest in our community, OPC UA models for other profiles will be created as well. As the XML version of the IREDES profiles, the OPC UA version can be extended with the vendor specific information as well.

The OPC UA model framework provides an easy manner for creating and exposing vendor defined information in a standard way. More importantly all OPC UA Clients are expected to be able to discover and use vendor-defined information. This means OPC UA users can benefit from the economies of scale that come with generic visualization and historian applications. This specification is an example of an OPC UA Information Model designed to meet the needs of developers and users.

OPC UA Clients can be any consumer of data from another device on the network to browser based thin clients and ERP systems. For more information about OPC UA in general see: https://opcfoundation.org/ important legal notice: The IREDES organizationis not responsible for the content of the page linked above.