PLCopen publishes OPC function block spec for review

  • March 10, 2016
  • News

March 10, 2016 - PLCopen and the OPC Foundation developed a new edition of the definition of a set of Function Blocks providing OPC-UA client functionality. With this functionality implemented on a controller it becomes possible to initiate a communication session to any other available PLCopen OPC-UA Server.

The controller can exchange complex data structures horizontally with other controllers independently from fieldbus system or vertically with other devices using an OPC-UA server call in an MES/ERP system in order to collect data or even write new production orders to the cloud. It allows a production line to be independently active in combination with integrated OPC-UA Security features.

The original version 1.0 was published 2 years ago, and during several implementations and due to new supporting companies it became clear that additional as well as different functionality was needed, esp. concerning a better user interface and better usability. By specifying versions of the FBs that deal with a List feature, one can work much easier with sets of data like variables or nodes. Now one can create a list of variables coupled to the required functionality, where originally one has to use a function block for each functionality and variable. This provides more effective programs with a better overview.

An OPC-UA client functionality in a controller does not provide hard deterministic real time and so it’s not a deterministic fieldbus – but OPC-UA provides fast and secure fieldbus independent communication, and provides modelling mechanism for information models.

This new edition is now published as Release for Comments until April 8, 2016.

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