5 Years On: OPC UA and PLCopen

Back in 2012 ZWAV (Joint Water and Wasterwater Authority, Vogtland) was the first user worldwide to implement OPC UA in modeling of pumps -a solution which has many of today’s Industrie 4.0 features. Later, in 2014 the official PLCopen  and OPC UA companion spec was released and ZWAV adapted their code slightly to match the official release.ZWAV is an association of 40 cities in the Vogtland region of Germany where communities work together to fulfill the responsibilities of water supply and sanitation, which were transferred to the municipalities by law. ZWAV is responsible for an area of 1,400 km² – covering 40 cities with 240,000 people.
Silvio Merz, Divisional Manager of Electrical/Process Technology at ZWAV was the man responsible for the implementation. It is worth noting that Mr. Merz was so ahead of his time that he nearly lost his job in choosing to install the cutting edge system.

“The replacement of a proprietary solution with a combined OPC UA Client/Server solution in small, but powerful embedded controllers provided ZWAV with savings on the initial licensing costs of more than 90% per device”, said Mr. Merz at the time.

Read the Full Application Story


To mark the occasion, a series of videos explaining OPC UA and PLCopen have been released.

5 minute introduction:

13 minute explanation: