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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 Savings in Heavy Industry Facilities

        By David Hill, Opto 22

        A large heavy-industries corporation in Asia supports economic development worldwide by providing basic industrial materials and by building the facilities needed for industrial growth. The company’s portfolio of products includes castings and forgings, nuclear and thermal power plants, water desalination plants, material handling systems, and more. Products and components are manufactured in multiple sub-factories, and a large quantity of electricity, gas, and water is consumed by each facility in the process. The amount of energy used varies in each sub-factory based on the manufacturing requirements of the products produced.

        It was clear that real-time electricity, gas, and water consumption data for each sub-factory had to be captured in an electronic form that was available to the ERP system for analysis. To implement this, the company…

        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…

 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

            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

              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…

              Events Update

                The OPC Foundation conducts and attends several events throughout the year that showcase OPC technology and its member’s solutions. See what’s coming up next and what you may have missed.

                New Product Releases

                  Check out the latest product releases from our members:

                  ● Kepware KEPServerEX Version 5.15

                  ● RoviSys OPC UA Client for OpenVMS

                  ● RoviSys OPC UA Server for OpenVMS

                  ● RoviSys OPC UA Connector for OpenVMS

                  ● GENESIS64™ Version 10.85 Software Suite

                  ● Prosys OPC UA Java SDK 2.0

                  ● Prosys OPC UA Client for Android 2.0

                  OPC UA in the Oil & Gas Industry

                    By Tom Burke, President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation

                    Welcome to the June edition of OPC Connect. The theme of this issue is OPC engagement in the Oil & Gas industry. The OPC Foundation has been actively collaborating with many segments of this sector to facilitate interoperable automation.

                    I am very excited about these collaborations, as they clearly demonstrate the commitment of our end-users and suppliers to the adoption of OPC UA. This newsletter highlights some of the major achievements of our…

                    Compliance Corner

                      By Nathan Pocock, Director of Compliance

                      Recently, we have seen a high number of test failures due to application crashes and resource leaks, which is part of our extensive behavior and reliability testing. We have written a new whitepaper on Certification Resource Efficiency Testing that addresses these points of failure and walk you through the exact steps we use in the lab.

                      Certified OPC products are ideal for production use because they have been tested by the OPC Foundation Certification Test Lab for compliance, interoperability, usability, but most importantly: robust error handling and recovery that will provide years of reliable operations, greatly reducing the costly risks of unavailability and/or shutdown.