What is OPC?

What is OPC ?

OPC (OLE for Process Control) was introduced in 1996 as a protocol designed to replace older communication protocols like Modbus RTU or Profibus, which were primarily used for field-level communication, At that time, OPC was exclusively available on the Windows operating system, and it was known for having lower security measures.

Subsequently, the OPC Foundation updated the original OPC protocol to OPC UA (Unified Architecture), which is known for its enhanced security features and platform independence.

Today, OPC stands for Open Platform Communications.

OPC is a client-server-based communication protocol for machine-to-machine communication in industrial automation. It facilitates the exchange of real-time plant data between control devices from various manufacturers.

Before OPC

Prior to the advent of OPC, communication between PLCs from different manufacturers or between a PLC and a SCADA system from a different manufacturer was a complex and cumbersome process, often necessitating the creation of custom software to facilitate these tasks.

OPC UA Example

If you need to establish communication between a Mitsubishi PLC and a Siemens SCADA system, particularly when dealing with devices from different manufacturers, you can achieve seamless connectivity by utilizing the OPC UA protocol.

OPC UA not only enables this intercommunication but also offers enhanced security features. With OPC UA, you can easily access Mitsubishi devices or tags within the Siemens SCADA system.

Mitsubishi OPC module as Server

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