The new OPC Router Release 4.17 focuses on the OPC UA standard. OPC Router keeps its name and gets another important function to support the possibilities of OPC UA. It remains the leading OPC client on the market. In version 4.17 the OPC Router supports OPC UA events.
OPC UA Events – Data is reported consistently at certain events
Event Trigger Connection
Historically, OPC has always focused on the individual data point. The data source-independent representation of a data value with value, timestamp and quality is one of the basic principles of OPC. Due to the increasingly intensive use of OPC in more and more complex applications, it soon became clear that some data cannot be viewed individually, but only make sense and are valid in context. For example, machine parameter sets, production orders or messages on produced goods can only be processed meaningfully if all the relevant data is exchanged between server and client simultaneously and in a coherent manner.
The events in OPC UA have been defined exactly for this purpose. An event can be triggered by an OPC UA server and with the event a defined corresponding set of data points is transferred with their consistent data valid at the time of the event.
Trigger as counterpart to OPC UA Events
The event in OPC UA is the ideal counterpart for the trigger in an OPC Router connection. Therefore the events are mapped as OPC UA event triggers in OPC Router. The connection is triggered by a triggering event and the data structures of the event are available in the connection for further processing.
Generic implementation in OPC Router allows wide application
Many OPC UA Companion Specifications use OPC UA events to consistently report data from specific use cases. OPC clients specifically for these specifications often implement the counterpart to the event definitions. The particular feature of the OPC Router is that the implementation is generic. That means any OPC UA server that provides OPC UA events can be connected immediately and included in Industry 4.0 infrastructure. This prepares you for future Companion Specifications and other OPC events.
For the data point connection via OPC UA, the OPC Router now also supports a connection via browsepath. If the browse path is used instead of the unique datapoint addressing, replacements in templates and similar are possible.
OPC Server Capabillities
In order to further optimize the cooperation with the OPC Server, the OPC Router now also queries the so-called Capabillities. In these capabillities, OPC Server determines the number of data points and the speed at which data can be retrieved without overloading the OPC Server. Especially with regard to OPC Servers with limited resources, this procedure helps to realize a much more stable and high-performance data exchange. The spread of OPC UA to the devices themselves means that operation with limited resources is becoming increasingly common. A prominent example is the OPC UA Server on the S7-1200 and S7-1500 Siemens controllers. The OPC UA Server is assigned clearly defined resources on the CPU so that the PLC program itself is not disturbed by OPC data exchange. However, this means that clear query quantities must be observed for the data points that the Siemens OPC UA Server announces in its Capabillities message. By observing the limits through the OPC Router, it works perfectly together with the Siemens controllers.
The OPC Router contains always internal variables. Values from the connections can be buffered here and can also be used across connections.
The local variables are new since this version. If a variable is declared as local, it is only valid in the one connection. When used in another connection, it gets its own independent value and does not influence the other connection. Especially when using templates this has a lot of advantages.
Heidenhain: Security plus with password
The OPC Router has been equipped with the plug-in for connecting Heidenhain CNC controllers for several versions. Now, a further plus in security for this connection has been added. The access can be password protected in the controller. Starting with version 4.17 of OPC Router, the plug-in is also able to transfer a password when accessing the Heidenhain CNC controller and thus authenticate itself. Data exchange remains possible and the controller is still protected against unauthorized access by the password protection.