OPC UA is a standardized and secure communication that connects the field device to the cloud and everything in between. OPC UA provides semantic interoperability, which is the need of the hour in Industry 4.0. OPC information model allows industrial interoperability through standardized exchange. These information models are completely independent of the underlying implementation infrastructure and describe the OPC UA applications in an abstract formal representation. OEMs and various industry bodies can create specific information models. OPC UA helps to provide a structure to the complex relations and connections of the underneath automation devices and systems. The information structure makes data handling efficient and easier at any level upwards thereafter.

Why OPC UA Architecture & Information Model are required for Industries?

OPC UA and its information model feature can be considered a key Industry 4.0 enabler. OPC UA is rich in semantic content. It contributes towards virtualization, which is an important element in Industry 4.0.

OPC UA is a communication platform that can understand an object and the process associated with it and produce a digital equivalent of the same. In simple words, it makes the information more accessible and easier to share with the clients.

Utthunga has deep capabilities to implementing OPC UA information models and OPC UA Companion Specifications for different industries. We are the perfect choice for building a reliable communication stage with the OPC UA Information model for your automation systems.

OPC UA Information model

OPC UA Architecture consultation Services provided by Utthunga

We have years of expertise in implementing OPC UA based products and solutions having provided architecture consultation and OPC UA information model consultation to several industrial OEMs across the globe. Our services are focused to mitigate substantial risks associated with architecture evaluation and implementation.

Have a look at our robust set of OPC UA Information model related services which are scenario-based, standardized, and architecture-centric:

  • Requirements analysis and full-stack architecture OPC UA Companion Specification
  • Architecture review and design
  • End-to-end platform evaluation or prototyping
  • Comprehensive information modeling
  • Integrated security for sensor-to-cloud data migration
  • Configuration tools selection
  • PubSub and Times Sensitive Networking implementation
  • DevOps & Continuous Integration
  • Real-time Linux support

Why Utthunga for OPC UA architecture consultation and information modelling?

Associate with Utthunga to gain the best from our vast knowledge on OPC. Our expert team will help you keep your R&D costs within your budget with our 13+ years of hands-on OPC technical, functional, operational and domain expertise. We are a premier OPC UA architecture consultation firm with an agile OPC team, proficient in all the latest IT/OT technologies. You can also trust us for architecture and information model services related to CIP OPC UA, FDT OPC UA, PA-DIM, and many more.

We understand the diverse automation processes and standards such as ISA95, Semantic ID, NAMUR NE107 standards, and specialize in implementing the OPC UA companion specifications. We have conducted research and presented our findings at various IEEE conferences across the globe for OPC UA Information models and more.

FAQs

Industrial automation is the heart and soul of I4.0. Implementing a proper communication protocol is the key to a successful automation system, which usually involves lots of control systems and smart field devices. These controllers need proper semantic communication protocol, for optimum results, and OPC UA is one option that provides this. It also provides plug and play connectivity for proprietary industrial devices. It acts as an interface between discrete data sources and is perfect for remote applications.

Yes. OPC UA is open source. The OPC Foundation announced its open-source repository on the open-source GitHub web site at http://github.com/opcfoundation. This helps to overcome the hurdles that may arise during the implementation of OPC UA architecture. The open source enables easy access, which can be optimally utilized by research organizations and end-users interested to assess the technology.

Nowadays, most of the standards suggest to avoid inbound request (top down traffic) to be on safer side. Let’s assume, In your plant there is a strict policy implemented to avoid inbound request from top down. This has been adopted in most of the places nowadays in order to not expose the ports and to avoid from malicious traffic.  In this scenario the reverse hello will help. You no need open the client to sever inbound port. Instead, the server will initiate reverse hello connection bottom up connection and from there data exchange happens.

To answer your question, yes, we definitely recommend OPC UA over OPC DA. But first, we need to understand the product requirements in terms of backward compatibility, customer install base and their willingness to upgrade etc.

Our uOPC Suite is a plug and play purpose-built platform that is designed to provide complete control over the IoT universe. uOPC Suite leverages OPC UA that serves as a fundamental gateway technology to cloud-enable industrial instruments, enabling data and device management, and critical insights for efficient and seamless performance.

To answer the first question, yes, broker exists in the Pub/Sub + Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) architecture. However, the broker cannot be an TSN node.
Basically, TSN is a switch. Whereas a broker is used to store the data and expose it to all the subscribers. The broker can be anyone of the messaging protocols like MQTT or AMQP.

The OPC UA server will retain the last known data in case of a client/server communication failure.

It all depends on the OPC UA version that is available for the application.

  • In case of OPC UA Client/Server model, it will send only the changed parameters
  • In case of OPC UA Pub/Sub, it depends on system configuration where it can publish all the last read parameter values or only the changed parameters values

In the current network landscape, the standard Ethernet communication is not deterministic. It doesn’t guarantee timely delivery of the packets.

Deterministic communication is important to multiple industries (for example, aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities). Providing a means for determinism over standard Ethernet enables new levels of connectivity and optimization, leading to cost savings for many industries.

Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) is an Ethernet standard for networks to transfer time sensitive data. TSN guarantees the delivery of packets within a time boundary. It is a Layer 2 technology that focuses on creating a convergence between information technology (IT) and industrial operational technology (OT) by extending and adapting existing Ethernet standards.

“This question requires an in depth knowledge of the TSN architecture. However, to gain a better technical understanding and perspective on how TSN works and how it can be used, please go through this paper as an initial reading. https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/industry-solutions/white-paper-c11-738950.pdf

There are multiple answers to your question. However, they all depend the OPC server configuration at the time of initial setup. Below are some of the possible scenarios that determine the number of OPC clients that can connect to an OPC server:

  • It is possible for the server to define a maximum limit on number of simultaneous connection.
  • Purely based on the availability of resources (Memory, CPU etc.,)
    For example, the server may keep accepting up to 10 client connections without any subscriptions and may reject 11th connection as it runs out of memory.
    OR
    It may accept two clients with subscription of 100 tags for each client, may run out of memory and reject the third connection.
  • It is possible for the server to dynamically determine if it should accept any new connection based on its current state and internal application logic.

To answer your question, please refer to the Part 1 of this webinar series where OPC UA security is covered. The security handling of PubSub involves the following aspects.

  • Security group management
  • Key management
  • Handshaking with keys etc.

The TSN part is just the application profile. So, from the developer perspective, the SDK will most probably be the same. However, it depends on the vendor and design of the SDK.

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