Below are various whitepapers that can help explain the more sophisticated uses of OPC technology

Note: The views expressed in these documents do not necessarily reflect the views of the OPC Foundation.


OPC UA Connects Your Systems – Top 10 reasons why to choose OPC UA over OPC

This paper discusses the requirements set by the present-day industry on information integration and information security and presents successful solutions based on OPC UA technology. The solutions described are snippets from real-life applications in different process industry installations.

OPC UA, the prominent successor to classic OPC, started its journey in 2004. First industry implementations were available in 2008. Since 2011 it has successfully carried the IEC standard code IEC 62541 [IEC]. Hence, a lot of effort has and will be made by the OPC Foundation [OPC Foundation], solution vendors and makers of development toolkits to assure seamless functionality and efficient communications between different OPC UA solution providers.

OPC UA forces, in comparison to what classic OPC has to offer, solution providers to deliver solutions that are 1) platform independent, 2) incorporates enhanced information security, 3) create real integration from plant-floor to executive-floor, 4) bases on IEC standard, 5) builds on a simplified architecture, 6)bases on a clear, demanding but not technically restricted specification, 7) comprises of a large amount of domain specific add-ons, 8) are scalable, 9) are future-proof and 10) are deployed easily.

This paper describes the possibilities of OPC UA through several example applications. The examples are real-life applications from several process industry domains, ranging from food industry to oil refining and petrochemical industry. Moreover, the paper illustrates the proper system structure for industry standard applications that incorporates future needs.

OPC UA is already the main choice for connecting systems together. It will clearly stand as the backbone for inter-communication between any kinds of automation systems for next decades.
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Standardized Smart Grid Semantics Using OPC-UA for Communication

As many roadmaps and studies were developed focusing on smart grid standardization a set of core standards was identified. Some of them specify own data models and thus, create a need for harmonization to enable interoperability in terms of communications. On the level of data model integration, two data models play key roles in the future smart grid. On the one hand the Common Information Model and on the other hand IEC 61850-based models. Both were identified as core standards and are part of the IEC TC57 Seamless Integration Architecture, another recommended standard.

In this contribution the OPC Unified Architecture, which is also a core standard specifying a server-client-architecture, is used to harmonize the two mentioned data models based on a common access layer. This leads to higher interoperability for, e.g., Energy Management Systems, Distribution Management Systems or SCADA systems.
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Embedded OPC

Keys To Developing an Embedded UA Server

Strong demand for improved access to shop-floor data is driving control automation vendors to make their devices as easy to integrate as possible. Embedded OPC UA presents tremendous opportunities for device vendors to make their products stand out with native open data connectivity that is more secure, easier to integrate in multi-vendor environments, and opens door to new markets due to the widespread use of OPC.

This paper discusses the key challenges device vendors must overcome to successfully harness this breakthrough, but complex technology.
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The OPC UA Security Model for Administrators

A security model is an architecture that allows developers, administrators and end users to use applications in distributed environment while ensuring that the applications, the computers they run on and the information exchanged is not compromised. A complete security model has several facets including application security, transport security, user authorization and authentication and traceability.

This white paper describes how to use the OPC UA security model to ensure application and transport security. The target audience for this document are systems administrators and end users.
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Security and Communication Comparison

In the world of automation, security has become a major source of discussion and an important part of most systems. The OPC Foundation has for a long time supported secure interoperability between systems made by multiple vendors, initially with its OPC DA, OPC A&E, OPC HAD and OPC Security interfaces (collectively now termed OPC Classic) and most recently with OPC Unified Architecture (UA). These two standards provide common functionality, but OPC UA unifies and enhances the functionality provide by the OPC Foundation Classic interfaces. These two standards provide, when considered from a security point of view, a somewhat different view of security and a very different manner of implementing the view.
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To submit a whitepaper for publication on the OPC Foundation web site, please review the requirements for contributed content.