When it comes to implementing IIoT and Industry 4.0 technology, OPC UA is considered to be the ideal communication protocol. In fact, it’s hard to imagine the future of these solutions without it. But what’s really behind all the hype?
B&R has tightly integrated OPC UA into its automation products. In the B&R Automation Studio engineering environment, OPC UA devices can be configured with only a few clicks. As an active member of various OPC Foundation working groups, B&R has joined the effort to advance OPC UA development.
What products does B&R already offer with OPC UA? Click here for an overview.
OPC UA at B&R
B&R has tightly integrated OPC UA into its automation products. It is therefore possible for any B&R controller to be implemented as an OPC UA server or client. This allows vertical communication with SCADA, MES, and ERP systems as well as vendor-independent communication from PLC to PLC.
Configuring OPC UA devices and assigning access rights in B&R’s Automation Studio engineering environment is completed with just a few clicks. PLCopen function blocks are used to implement OPC UA functions in an automation project.
OPC UA products from B&R have completed the OPC Foundation’s certification process.
Web-based HMI with OPC UA – mapp View
Because of the many advantages it offers, B&R uses OPC UA for more than just vendor-independent horizontal and vertical communication: The protocol is also used for communication between B&R products. The web-based mapp View HMI solution, for example, uses OPC UA to exchange all the necessary data with the machine or system. This facilitates development of extremely flexible and modular HMI solutions.
Factory and process automation using OPC UA – APROL
B&R also relies on OPC UA for vendor-independent communication in the APROL process and factory automation platform. All APROL variables that the OPC UA server in APROL should make available to OPC UA clients for read or write access can be defined through a simple selection process. The OPC UA client has integrated browser functionality that makes it easy to select data points that should be linked.
Motor management and control units, compact OPC controllers and other devices can directly exchange all important operating, service and diagnostic data with APROL via the OPC UA client. In addition, HMI panels or SCADA systems can be connected to APROL.
Active member of the OPC Foundation
B&R has joined the effort to advance OPC UA development. B&R has for many years been one of the leading companies in the OPC Foundation PLCopen working group and continually develops new PLCopen function blocks for OPC UA. B&R also supports the OPC Foundation real-time working group and actively works on the OPC UA Companion Specification for POWERLINK, which will allow communication from the sensor layer to the ERP layer without any interfaces whatsoever.