The OLE for Process Control (OPC) Specification is a non-proprietary technical specification that defines a set of standard interfaces based upon Microsoft’s OLE/COM technology. The application of the OPC standard interface makes possible interoperability between automation/control applications, field systems/devices and business/office applications. Traditionally, each software or application developer was required to write a custom interface, or server/driver, to exchange data with hardware field devices. OPC eliminates this requirement by defining a common, high performance interface that permits this work to be done once, and then easily reused by HMI, SCADA, PLC, DCS and other shop floor applications. No discussion of OPC and plant floor automation would be complete without a reference to ISA-95. The ISA S95 (ISA-95) Standard for Enterprise-Control System Integration defines interfaces between applications at the Industrial Control Level and applications at the MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) Level. As such, it bridges the gap between control-level communications which are typically implemented using OPC, and business-level applications. Junot Systems provides complete and comprehensive support for ISA S95 (and B2MML) through its XML eXtender.
Generally, each device manufacturer provides its own implementation of OPC servers and in the real world, each manufacturing facility uses many different brands of shop floor control system hardware. Worse, today’s eManufacturing business initiatives demand that shop floor systems provide seamless access to production data. The OPC standard provides for a common software interface between SCADA, PLC, DCS, HMI, MES, and other applications and the shop floor.
With the NLINK OPC eXtender, companies are now able to quickly and easily integrate their back office systems to their OPC-compatible field devices. By augmenting their data collection systems with NLINK, businesses automatically get all the benefits of a leading Enterprise Application Integration product, including content-based routing, mapping, transformation, and the application of complex business rules, while preserving investments in existing information technology. When you choose NLINK as your communications solution, you’ll know that you will be able to connect to the widest variety of software systems on the market.
The NLINK OPC eXtender offers many advantages over other approaches when needing to integrate with OPC-compatible field devices:
Is quick and easy to install.
Fast to implement, the NLINK OPC eXtender is configuration-based requiring no custom coding and uses the NLINK Configuration Module (NCM) to rapidly configure the NLINK meta-database.
Easy to change, the NLINK OPC eXtender requires very little manual configuration and comes with an NCM Wizard.
The NLINK OPC Alarms & Events Wizard
The NLINK OPC eXtender can aggregate data from multiple devices before producing an outbound message.
The NLINK OPC eXtender supports all commercially available OPC Data Access, Historical Data Access and Alarms & Events server implementations.
If you are interested in connecting OPC field devices to SAP R/3 or SAP ECC you should visit Junot Systems’ NLINK OPC to SAP Solution web site.