Introduction

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a platform-independent communication standard that enables secure and seamless data exchange between heterogeneous systems. This architecture enables data exchange across different industrial systems and between products from different brands and manufacturers. OPC UA is at the heart of IIoT, offering seamless horizontal and vertical interconnectivity between systems. In complex terms, OPC UA interlinks IIoT, Industrial 4.0, and M2M communication, enabling delivery of effective industrial automation solutions.

Utthunga is a leader in product engineering for industrial automation and specializes in OPC UA Development services. We also offer OPC UA security consultation services to our clients.

OPC UA Consultation for Industries

OPC UA is proving to be a game changer across various industries as it enables communication from field device to enterprise level. If you are planning to implement OPC UA, it is important to bring in the experts. OPC implementation and/or migration needs to be done gradually, so that the transition is seamless with minimum impact to existing systems and data. This is where our professional OPC UA development and security consultation services come in.

Utthunga develops OPC based solutions that can work like a protocol convertor, or a middleware or a bride to other systems and applications. Our solution communicates with other devices and systems in standardized fashion and can be customized based on the client’s requirements. We can also implement OPC PubSub and IEEE TSN (Time Sensitive Networking) at the lower levels.

The OPC Foundation recommends practical security solutions to be used while building OPC UA applications. It suggests that tested security protocols need to be implemented at every level of the industry, from the fieldbus level, machine network, cell network, company network to cloud level. The recommendations also include usage of private keys, design of OPC UA security architecture, certification management, and secure storage solutions.

Utthunga has credible domain expertise in setting up and securing an OPC UA based hardware or software application. We offer end-to-end OPC UA development services, right from analysis and design to implementation, testing and maintenance. We also deliver customized OPC UA security solutions as well as consultations to our clients.

OPC UA Services provided by Utthunga

With growing technological diffusion, comes greater complexity. The fusion between physical world and virtual world is becoming smart, and this “smartness” requires better connection and collaborations. Utthunga helps you in bridging the gap between traditional plant floor devices and process control applications to achieve a vendor-independent and platform-neutral infrastructure.

As a part of the OPC UA Development services, we:

Identify Intent:

Our experts will liaise with your internal team to identify the purpose of OPC UA development and integration. We will do an intensive research on your business needs to give you viable practical solutions.

Develop

Based on the initial discussions, we will leverage our OPC suite, multiplatform OPC SDK, protocol stacks, and built-in simulation models and several other ready-to-use frameworks. We can integrate OPC in the sensor/field device level and all the up to the cloud. Our team at Utthunga has OPC experts who have the relevant technical and domain expertise. We offer a wide range of development services that also includes automated V&V, bespoke systems and applications integration.

We are experts in the following broad areas:

  • OPC enabled edge gateway
  • Embedded OPC on field devices
  • OPC cloud integration services
  • OPC interface for SAP/ERP and other enterprise applications
  • Data logging applications
  • SCADA, HMI, MES, MoM and Historian applications
  • Mobile HMI application
  • Diverse process automation devices following PA-DIM, NAMUR NE107 standards, ISA95 architecture, Semantic ID and other industry standards
  • Sensor to cloud connectivity
Quality assurance

After the OPC UA based solution is implemented and integrated into your existing system, our team will do an intensive evaluation to ensure that the initial set goals were met. Any gaps that are identified are filled to ensure a system that communicates and functions seamlessly.

Whether you already have OPC enabled infrastructure in place or it is your first OPC UA project, our team of OPC experts can help you with the end-to-end development of your OPC project. Benefit from our years of domain expertise in process, factory, and power industry to empower your business operations. Our industrial OPC connectivity and integration capabilities in embedded software & applications, middleware & cloud integration make us the accredited OPC partner.

opc ua cloud connectivity

Why Utthunga for OPC UA Development and OPC UA Security Consultation?

Utthunga offers a comprehensive portfolio of services for integrated automation that extends from the field-level devices to the enterprise-level systems. Our professional services are designed to provide a quick start for a scenario-based, standardized, and architecture-centric evaluation process, thus enabling the Industry 4.0 ecosystem.

Utthunga has over 13 years of domain expertise in the industry. Our focus is majorly on process, factory, power, and utilities. We have also been an active contributor to the OPC foundation and other industrial consortiums. Our in-house experts have presented several white papers and IEEE publications in industrial automation conferences conducted around the world. We have also authored a whitepaper titled ”Mapping Ethernet/IP (CIP) object to OPC UA Information Model”. All this underlines our domain expertise in OPA UA and latest communication protocols.

Utthunga is also a major contributor to numerous specific working groups such as

  • OPC UA, FDT OPC UA, FDI Specification
  • CIP OPC UA Specification
  • FDI Communication Devices
  • PA-DIM

FAQs

There are various Industry 4.0 communication guidelines based on OPC UA. One of them is the 3 steps for gradual migration to OPC UA communication.

  • First step is to enable condition monitoring systems to access data from machines
  • Second migration step is to use plug and work standardized models
  • Third step is role-based authorization of OPC UA
  • The migration process needs to be standardized and secure

Yes, OPC is a game-changing element of the fourth industrial revolution. This technology allows flexible and secure use of data across IT and OT boundaries.

OPC DA works on Microsoft DCOM based technology which can work only in Windows. On the other hand, OPC UA works on address ports and hence it is platform independent, which means it works on different OS flavours like Windows, Linux and Micro-Controller (RTOS).

“Certificates are a way for clients to establish a secure connection with servers. Whenever a client tries to connect to the OPC UA server, it will first verify whether the client certificate is available in its server trusted folder path. If not, the client certificate will be moved to the server rejected folder path. The user will have to manually move the certificate to the trusted folder path to establish the connection between client and the server.”

“The OPC UA Safety working group has published Release 1.00 of the specification for the interoperable communication standard for functional safety – OPC UA Safety “Part 15 OPC UA Core Specification”. OPC UA Safety is based on the black channel principle and currently addresses controller-to-controller communication using OPC UA clients/servers.

Source: https://opcconnect.opcfoundation.org/2020/03/specification-for-opc-ua-safety-release-1-00-completed/ The certification guide lines are not yet finalized and the specification scope is up to SIL level 4. “

The OPC DA and OPC UA architecture doesn’t place a limit on the number of maximum client connections. However, it depends on system configuration of your application.

You need to have a converter OPC UA to access and convert the OPC Classic DA data, so that your OPC Client can connect and monitor that information.

Technically yes. The OPC UA server/client can directly connect to any database for data exchange. However, it largely depends on type of database that you select. The OPC UA server/client can be customized as per your database schema to create specific information models.

The O-PAS standard from the OPAF is based on OPC UA standard. So, eventually if and when OPAF brings forth any use cases that can’t be handled with the existing OPC UA Specifications, there may be a need for coordinated effort to handle such cases between both organizations. Any member companies who are in both organizations will play a key role in such scenarios.

“The market for OPC UA simulators is flooded with OEMs as well as third party vendors delivering COTS products or framework based solutions. Each offer their own variations of the OPC UA simulators that can be customized to meet your specific requirements.
If you can share your requirements for OPC UA simulations, Utthunga’s uOPC Simulate framework can help you in developing applications for simulation of communication protocols, field devices, control systems, process flow and network traffic. Many of our clients including ABB have leveraged our expertise on working for different simulators to satisfy their business needs. “

Any application which uses address ports for OPC UA server to communicate across the firewall, will have its ACL/rules configured for allowing both inbound and outbound access.

No. The A&E data will not be persistent in the OPC UA server if the connection is severed.

“Thank you for participating in our OPC UA Inside Out Webinar. Since this is the Part 1 of ongoing webinar series on OPC UA, we would like you to attend all of our remaining webinars which will lay the foundation for understanding the overall OPC architecture, its different variations (UA, DA, AE and HDA) and the supporting specifications/standards. As a basic difference, OPC DA works on Microsoft DCOM based technology which can work only in Windows. OPC UA on the other hand works on address ports and hence it is a platform independent which can work on both Windows, Linux and Micro-Controller (RTOS). ”

OPC UA is more on a standard way of data exchange but IOT covers the larger scope of bringing data to a central place and analysing them using various analytical methods plus the visualisation and reporting. We can help you understand both IoT and OPC UA technologies, its various pros and cons with respect to your specific requirements.

This is a challenge. The data acquisition from these legacy PLCS and other controllers must be handled on a case-by-case basis with some level of custom solutions. There are multiple options available for the end-users.

  • You can bring the entire PLC to common communication protocol, say Modbus TCP and have the edge device supporting Modbus TCP as its downlink layer.
  • Use the Edge Device, which has support for the PLC at the downlink layer.

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