With the relatively recent availability of embedded OPC UA server capabilities in Siemens S7-1500 PLCs, access to live production data from Siemens controllers is now even more open to third-party applications than it ever has been before. As a result, those third-party HMI/SCADA and other OPC UA client applications can now communicate with hardware that was formerly locked behind proprietary communication drivers.
Beyond just easy access, though, embedded OPC UA as the preferred communications medium also opens the door for faster and more efficient communications that are more reliable and secure. Also, since it’s standards-based, there is greater compatibility for connecting third-party systems that support OPC UA directly to S7-1500 controllers.
The OPC UA interface in the S7-1500 also offers several other advantages over the traditional Siemens TCP (RFC1006 ISO over TCP) protocol (also commonly referred to as S7 Ethernet).
OPC UA Provides Greater Efficiency
Since OPC UA allows Report-By-Exception (RBE), the ability to transfer arrays and a larger maximum packet size, OPC UA is the Siemens preferred method of integrating S7-1500 controllers due to those improvements in efficiency. In a world where fast is never fast enough, greater efficiency is always important.
OPC UA Provides Greater Security
With security as one of the fundamental considerations in the design of the OPC UA framework, OPC UA is more secure than virtually any other standard or protocol. With OPC UA support right on the controller, S7-1500s now provide a much higher level of security than ever before.
The OPC Data Logger from Software Toolbox provides affordable, reliable logging from OPC data sources to CSV/text file and most databases including SQL, MySQL and any ODBC-compliant database. Since the OPC Data Logger natively supports OPC UA, it’s incredibly easy to connect directly to the embedded OPC UA Server in an S7-1500 and log process data efficiently and securely.
For a walk-through of how to get started logging Siemens S7-1500 real-time data via OPC UA to CSV/text file and databases and to get the detailed hands-on guide, click here to visit the Software Toolbox blog.
And, if you’re not familiar with OPC Data Logger but logging process data from OPC sources is on your task list, you can try it with your own OPC UA server data sources for free. Click to Download Your Free Trial.