Friday, February 18, 2011

OPC Bridging Software





The OPC (OLE for Process Control) Bridging Software is to interconnect two OPC servers were Matrikon’s ODM (OPC Data Manager) and Kepware’s LinkMaster. These programs called OPC bridges or OPC routers are able to read data from one server and write it to another. Both programs are similar in operation and configuration. The functionality includes of the definition of update rates and groups, input/output pairs, dead-bands and quality checks. The LinkMaster even allows to write one input value to more than one output variables and to perform the mathematical operations between. To make bulk configuration easier, both programs allow to import and export the configuration and to CSV (comma separated values) files.

We ran both bridging programs with a fully functional, the time limited testing license provided for free by its vendor. A range of other software was used on the engineering or test system computer for setup and testing. The most important programs are specified shortly:
• MatriconOPC Explorer is a freeware OPC client allowing connecting to any compliant OPC server and displaying the value of chosen tags. It also support writing of variables and preserving settings. Furthermore, it allows measuring the maximum update rate of the OPC servers it is connected to.
• Office 1003 of Microsoft was used for day to day work and configuration tasks. Especially Excel was helpful for the variable definition in AC800M and for bulk configuring the bridging software using CSV files. Furthermore, Excel allows convenient bulk set up of Profibus devices and its variables with the Bulk Data Manager plug in.
• Microsoft’s Sysinternals Process Explorer is a freeware program to monitor system processes and their use of resources.
• Synergy was used to operate two screens and computers with only one keyboard and mouse.
• Irfanview helped with the screenshots caption.


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