New Spec Integrates into OPC UA

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 @ 12:08 PM gHale

CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) completed a companion specification with the OPC Foundation to simplify the tasks of information transfer between plant systems and to provide high connectivity and interoperability.

The specification ended up based on CLPA’s “CSP+ for Machine” technology.

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OPC UA (Unified Architecture) is a platform-independent, service-oriented architecture that integrates the functionalities of the individual OPC Classic specifications into one extensible framework.

It delivers the necessary infrastructure for interoperability and for moving data and information from the embedded world to the cloud. It also addresses cybersecurity with technology that has been assessed by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

“With Industry 4.0 becoming a key topic, this companion specification will increase process and system transparency for end users, enabling more efficient operations, better product quality and higher productivity,” said John Browett, CLPA-Europe general manager.

CLPA’s activity with the OPC Foundation looks to expand its existing CSP+ (Control & Communication System Profile) technology from just describing individual devices and to apply it to complete machines and production lines. This is the key concept behind CSP+ for Machine.

CSP+ has long been providing drag and drop network configuration using CSP+ files from CLPA partner vendors, by allowing the creation of device libraries. However, the new CSP+ for Machine extension of CSP+ provides network configuration and maintenance by offering profiles that describe whole machines instead of just devices on a CC-Link IE network.

“The CSP+ concept has allowed individual devices on a network to be defined by a profile and, therefore made it easier to configure and maintain networks,” Browett said. “By mapping the OPC UA model to CSP+ for Machine, we can take a step further and offer the ability to treat an entire machine like a device. Thus, we simplify configuration and maintenance on a much higher level.”

Via XML, CSP+ for Machine provides information concerning machine specifications, application software, data to be acquired and how, as well as relationship between machine data and information. As a result, end users will have access to meaningful data from each machine such as production volume, operating performance, energy consumption, etc., this will ensure the highest levels of connectivity and interoperability and allow information to be easily shared throughout an enterprise and beyond.

“Collaboration is the key,” he continued. “We now have the opportunity to roll out significant products from both organizations that are coupled together and provide real solutions for the end users,” said Thomas Burke, president of the OPC Foundation. “The CLPA and its suppliers now have plug and play interoperability to the cloud. This is what the end users demand as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) becomes a reality.”

Click here to download the CSP+ OPC UA Companion Specification.



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