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BACnet Calendar and Schedule Objects: Scheduling From Your Couch

    by Erik Dellinger, Kepware Technologies

    Before I get into Kepware’s current implementation of the BACnet Calendar and Schedule Objects (available in KEPServerEX version 5.15 and later), we should cover objects in general terms. When we talk about objects, we are essentially talking about structured data. You can think of structured data as how we store and organize data so that it can be easily and efficiently referenced and used. For example, rather than reading your first name, your last name, and then your location, you read it all at once. Structured data is a collection of properties or attributes that can contain various information, some of which is useless on its own but paints a larger and…

    Energy Smart Buildings at Microsoft Powered by ICONICS and OPC Connectivity

      By Melissa Topp, ICONICS

      A small, covert team of engineers at Microsoft cast aside suggestions that the company spend US$60 million to turn its 500-acre headquarters into a smart campus to achieve energy savings and other efficiency gains. Instead, applying an “Internet of Things meets Big Data” approach, the team invented a data-driven software solution based upon ICONICS HMI/SCADA software that is slashing the cost of operating the campus’ 125 buildings, saving Microsoft millions of dollars. ICONICS’ certified OPC UA and BACnet connectivity played a key role in making these savings possible.

      Microsoft’s Energy-Smart Buildings application includes over two million data points generating half a billion data transactions every day. Over five hundred OPC-enabled Modbus devices, including electric meters, power distribution units, generators, UPS switches and other critical building equipment, generate large amounts of Big Data that are being provided to…

      Energy Monitoring, Analytics & Big Data in Real Estate

        By Stefan Hoppe, TwinCAT Product Manager, BECKHOFF Automation; President of the OPC Foundation Europe

        Energy monitoring in decentralized real estate properties enables operators to establish energetically optimized statutory management requirements. As an example, the municipal sector often operates up to 2,000 real estate properties via facility management. The energy monitoring system, e2watch® from regio iT Corporation for Information Technology has been developed in cooperation with the real estate and facility management department of the city of Aachen, Germany.

        The e2watch® system utilizes a compact Beckhoff controller as a decentralized control unit for data acquisition and buffering. However, the most sophisticated feature is the synchronization with the Cloud using a configurable scheduler. This system uses the manufacturer-independent interoperability standard, OPC-UA (also known as international standard IEC 62541) with integrated security mechanisms as a data transport layer. The collected data gets pushed from a control unit (acting as a PLCopen function block standardized OPC-UA Client) as historical data…

        AutomatedBuildings.com Interviews Tom Burke, President of the OPC Foundation

          An interview of Thomas Burke, President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation, by Ken Sinclair, Publisher and Owner of AutomatedBuildings.com

          OPC UA is designed for information integration between industrial automation and building automation systems.

          The OPC Foundation has been collaborating with many other standards organizations in the advancement of interoperability by providing an information integration infrastructure for standardizing of complex data models into the easy to understand OPC UA information model namespace. One of the most important collaborations has been building automation.

          Highlights from the OPC Foundation Information Revolution 2014 Conference

            By Bill Lydon, Editor of Automation.com

            The OPC Foundation Information Revolution 2014 Conference was held at Microsoft’s Redmond Campus on August 4-7, 2014. The conference featured industry experts who both presented and learned more about OPC Unified Architecture.

            Tom Burke, Executive Director of the OPC Foundation, opened the conference by reflecting on the history of the OPC Foundation, which was founded in 1996. Burke emphasized that OPC UA is now used to move information in all types of industry applications, from embedded devices to the enterprise and cloud computing. OPC standards and certifications empower users and vendors to implement products and systems with the confidence that OPC Foundation vendor hardware and software building blocks will work together reliably. Today, more than 40,000 products use OPC standards…

            OPC UA & Drilling Automation

              By Martin Cavanaugh

              The Society of Petroleum Engineers has formed a technical section to accelerate the development and implementation of automated drilling systems. Automated drilling systems are intended to increase the productivity of drillers, while at the same time increasing safety for both humans and the environment.

              Data Modeling in the Oil & Gas Industry

                By Rich Hunzinger, B-Scada

                The Oil and Gas Industry faces a number of new challenges in the coming years. From the obvious challenge of managing a finite resource to ever-changing environmental regulations and the consequent competitive pressures, it’s easy to understand why industry leaders are continually striving to find ways to optimize and improve operational efficiency.

                The new digital landscape of the industry has led to a proliferation of data, with greater frequency, at every stage of the business lifecycle. This abundance of data has led to new ideas about how this data can best be managed to maximize its value. The standards introduced by PPDM 3.8 include 53 subject areas intended to give executives a model for a Master Data Management solution.

                A data management model is necessary largely because of the separate data sets that must be monitored – such as location data, well data and production data – which have traditionally been grouped and viewed separately. Now, research is showing that the proliferation of these information “silos” and the lack of a unified view can lead to a number of undesirable…

                PRODML™ : Data Exchange Standard for Production Data

                  By Jay Hollingsworth, Energistics and Laurence Ormerod, Ormerod Consulting

                  The Digital Oil Field uses technology based solutions to help companies leverage their resources to more quickly and accurately capture and analyze large volumes of data generated in the field such as down-hole sensors and MWD applications. It encompasses the complete suite of upstream activities and allows analysis of the data in real- or near-real time. All this data comes from different applications, different providers, in different formats. The prevailing electronic documents in this space are spreadsheets, PDFs, etc. The effort required of companies to gather the data to run their analyses is both time consuming and costly. Using a common standard format not only reduces costs, it reduces…

                  OPC UA Information Modeling for the Off Shore Platform Oil & Gas Industry

                    By Paul Hunkar, DSInteroperability

                    In the oil and gas industry there is a push to try to minimize the cost associated with the engineering and validation of the control system. This is especially true for off shore platforms, where there are multiple companies that provide various aspects of these systems. These vendors specialize in topside platform controls or subsea controls, but all of these systems must work together seamlessly. Since these controls are deployed in locations that at times are very hard to reach, making any changes after deployment can be very expensive. The engineering cost for these systems is often in excess of millions of dollars with…