OPC Unified Architecture and TwinCAT: New, platform-independent communication and information technology
MINNEAPOLIS, December 12, 2006 - To bring even greater openness to automation and control applications, Beckhoff Automation's TwinCAT automation software now conforms to OPC UA (Unified Architecture). As one of the first to implement the new OPC UA specification, Beckhoff featured a live demonstration of this leading edge technology in their PC-based controllers at the SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2006 trade show in Nuremberg, Germany.
OPC is an established and recognized standard for data exchange between control and HMI in manufacturing and process automation. Previous OPC technology is based on the Microsoft COM/DCOM model and is limited to Microsoft-based operating systems.
Applications connecting to the MES and ERP levels result in new challenges in terms of scalability, network capability, platform independence and security. The new OPC UA standard is based on TCP communication and is, therefore, platform-independent. The "Unified Architecture" specification creates the basis for new platform-independent communication and information technologies.
In addition to platform independence, a further advantage is that only a minimum amount of OPC configuration is required in networks. Direct UA TCP communication is available as soon as a PLC is available in the network. In addition to standardized exchange of PLC process data, the OPC UA solution from Beckhoff also offers device-specific information and services.
For more information on TwinCAT (including TwinCAT 2.10 demo download):
Beckhoff Automation provides advanced, open automation products based upon proven technologies so that customers can implement high performance control systems faster and at a lower overall cost than traditional PLC and motion control systems. Beckhoff's "New Automation Technology" product range includes PC based control, industrial PCs, automation controllers, operator interface, I/O, servo drives and motors. With representation in 60 countries, Beckhoff is well positioned to provide global sales and service to its customers. Sales and service are handled directly, with no intermediaries involved to provide faster response and improved communications.
Please send readers' questions regarding "TwinCAT OPC UA" to:
Beckhoff Automation LLC
12150 Nicollet Ave. S
Burnsville, MN 55337