OPC UA Finds Success in the Chemical Industry [Case Study]

Meeting demanding challenges at scale for machine to enterprise communication is a challenge faced in many industries. It is even more demanding in chemicals and gas where communication with a huge base of legacy, mission critical systems must be maintained. Recently, Technotects (www.technotects.com), an industrial IoT Edge software engineering company in Philadelphia, successfully deployed a fully compliant OPC UA based system for a Fortune 500 industrial gas and chemical delivery equipment manufacturer.

Technotects selected OPC UA to support communication on their Windows CE-based real-time embedded controllers, as well as the Windows 10-based simulators, because it is:

  • Popular – Wide acceptance and interoperability in the industrial automation marketplace
  • Intuitive – Comprehensive information modeling for self-defining complex data
  • Plug-and-Play – Extensibility to add new features without affecting existing applications
  • Secure – Device-level security such as certificate based encryption/authentication and access-permission granularity
  • Highly Performant – Efficient subscriptions to OPC UA client specific data changes
  • Open – Methods capability allowing OPC UA clients to execute operations
  • Widely Supported – Platform independence scaling small to large systems with support from a multitude of RTOS, including Linux, VxWorks and Win10 IoT

To enable faster time to market, the OPC UA Server Stack from Real Time Automation (www.rtautomation.com) in Pewaukee, Wisconsin was selected for its US based engineering/support, simplicity, feature-richness, and security. Additionally, RTA had the innate background to understand the industrial automation needs and the knowledge/willingness/tenacity to make their stack work with Windows CE, including the SSL library.

Taking advantage of the new OPC UA server functionality within the industrial gas and chemical controllers, Technotects is now developing a mobile device-based Quick Response Collaboration App to maximize equipment uptime with less human effort. Utilizing OPC UA secure connectivity, Microsoft Azure IoT and Push notifications, the Social media-like app communicates with hundreds of controllers and features live messaging between technicians, with embedded alarm and operational data views for the purpose of speeding up recovery and reducing unplanned downtime, anywhere, any time. The controller’s OPC UA server with enhanced data availability will help maximize reliability and uptime for lower cost of ownership while providing customers with valuable process data analytics and resilience from cyberattack.

Contact KrisKazmar_AT_Technotects.com for more information.

John Rinaldi
Real Time Automation


OPC UA evangelist, John Rinaldi, of Real Time Automation, is one of the OPC Foundation’s official “Consultants, Experts and Advisors”. It is a collection of persons that are willing to offer OPC UA services to interested vendors or organizations. These OPC Foundation members have registered for one or more of the categories set by the OPC Technical Control Board (TCB). For more information: https://opcfoundation.org/about/opc-foundation/experts/

 Mr. Rinaldi is leading off the second day of McNaughton-McKay’s “Connected Enterprise and EtherNet/IP Event” on May 8-9 in Madison Heights, Michigan. In his presentation, titled “The How The Third Wave Of Internet Evolution Is Radically Changing Manufacturing & Putting Your Company At Risk”, John will describe why OPC UA is the architecture of OT/IT convergence. Contact McNaughton McKay (www.mc-mc.com) for more information or to register.