OPC communications bridge the gap between PLC systems and higher software applications through a single open standards communication interface. Data from such data sources as PLCs and databases is read by OPC server.
OPC server is an application that converts data into a single communication protocol – the OPC protocol. The converted data is then read by higher software applications called OPC clients (mainly such applications as SCADA HMI, trending tools, visualisation applications, databases and IoT platforms).
The main benefit of OPC communications is the standardisation of data collection. Every machine provides data in a particular format. OPC enables you to convert all these formats into a single standardised format – the OPC format. It makes the visualisation, trending, processing and storage of data much easier.
Since 2006, FOXON has been a distributor for the most prominent developer and supplier of OPC products – the US company Kepware. We distribute Kepware products on the Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Ukrainian markets. OPC server used to be considered a mere data converter. However, Kepware helped establish it as a cutting-edge communications platform which can connect to over 350 different protocols and data sources, and convert them not only into OPC DA/UA/HDA but also into ODBC, SNMP and REST. Additionally, such standardised data can be mathematically processed or directly logged to a database – both operations are performed by the Kepware platform itself thanks to its plug-in modules. The data can then be accessed by higher software systems via various standard communication interfaces and further processed on local computers or in the cloud.
In 2016, Kepware was taken over by the US software company PTC, which is a global leading provider of such software systems as CAD / PLM / SLM and IoT. These products enable PTC to help businesses digitalise their environments, develop Industry 4.0 and IoT projects, and connect the physical and digital worlds through augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D models.