OPC Foundation

OPC Gets Green, Goes Nuclear and Gets Embedded

Thomas Burke, president and executive director of the OPC Foundation, discusses how OPC technology is advancing cutting-edge developments—from green energy and the world’s largest particle accelerator, to embedded intelligence and OPC UA-on-a-chip.

Welcome to the May 2010 edition of OPConnect, the official newsletter of the OPC Foundation. The year 2010 marks 15 years in the development of OPC technology. What began in 1995 as a task force to standardize on a device driver solution has morphed into the 400-member OPC Foundation, whose task it is to develop, support and maintain standards for moving data and information from embedded devices all the way through the enterprise.

OPC is “open connectivity” in industrial automation and enterprise systems based on “open standards.” These standards operate across multivendor and multiplatform systems, providing secure, reliable and interoperable communications for applications in industrial automation, building automation, energy management and more… Read more



Reaping the Wind in Real Time

The Matrikon OPC Server for Vestas Wind Turbines standardizes real-time access to wind farm data sources for improved management and control of distributed assets.

High oil prices and global warming concerns have more people looking at renewable energy sources such as wind power. Wind power installations have unique challenges due to energy variability and load balancing as well as accessibility of the many generating stations. The OPC Server for Vestas Wind Turbines can provide continuous access to real-time information needed for equipment monitoring and making production decisions… Read more


Upgrade Performance, Downsize Complexity

Softing’s OPC Development Toolkits for OPC UA assist software engineers in implementing effective OPC Clients/Servers and embedding OPC UA technology directly into target devices.

Softing, the world leader in providing conformant OPC development tools, continues to enhance its OPC Unified Architecture (UA) Toolkits for Windows, VxWorks, and Linux. The latest version of the OPC UA Toolkit comes with significant performance optimization, support of Kernel Mode in VxWorks systems, more programming support and functional extensions.

Softing’s Toolkits are currently the only products available that include all necessary OPC libraries to develop OPC Clients and Servers based on the Classic OPC DA, Alarms & Events, XML-DA, and the OPC UA specification… Read more


OPC Helps Cool World’s Largest Particle Accelerator

The OPC Top Server from Software Toolbox monitors chiller data on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, to cool circuits when proton beams collide at seven trillion volts.

In March 2010 at the international physics laboratory of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), two proton beams collided with the energy of 7 trillion electron volts in the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). CERN, which features the most technologically advanced facilities for researching the basic building blocks of the Universe, built the LHC to test predictions of high-energy physics for particle physicists to help answer some of the most fundamental questions about the basic laws governing interaction and forces concerning elementary objects, structure of time and space, quantum mechanics and relativity.

The LHC results required years of investment in engineering, science and technology. Keeping the technology working reliably requires consistent monitoring of temperature and humidity in the tunnels and experimental areas of the LHC site… Read more


OPC UA Software Opens Up Linux Possibilities

A leading integrator uses the OPC UA server included with Ignition by Inductive Automation™ to provide better performance and reliability in a distillation refinery SCADA system.

Integrator Kyle Chase has begun to experience first-hand the benefits of OPC Unified Architecture (UA). Designed to allow for cross-platform compatibility, OPC UA delivers on the promise of performance and reliability. Chase explained that, although a fan of Linux, until now he could never use it in automation control systems because OPC relied on Microsoft’s Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM).

“To me, the move to a true cross-platform environment is important,” stated Chase, systems integration specialist for Surefire SCADA Inc. “This holds many advantages, especially when it comes to system flexibility and security. It helps keep costs down as well”… Read more



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