OPC is a software interface standard that allows Windows programs to communicate with industrial hardware devices.
OPC is implemented in server/client pairs. The OPC server is a software program that converts the hardware communication protocol used by a PLC into the OPC protocol. The OPC client software is any program that needs to connect to the hardware, such as an HMI. The OPC client uses the OPC server to get data from or send commands to the hardware.
The value of OPC is that it is an open standard, which means lower costs for manufacturers and more options for users. Hardware manufacturers need only provide a single OPC server for their devices to communicate with any OPC client. Software vendors simply include OPC client capabilities in their products and they become instantly compatible with thousands of hardware devices. Users can choose any OPC client software they need, resting assured that it will communicate seamlessly with their OPC-enabled hardware, and vice-versa.
Open Platform Communications (OPC) is a series of standards and specifications for industrial telecommunication. An industrial automation industry task force developed the original standard in 1996 under the name OLE for Process Control (Object Linking and Embedding for process control). OPC specifies the communication of real-time plant data between control devices from different manufacturers.
MatrikonOPC Simulation is free for non-production use and can be distributed openly. It is a fully functioning application without restriction.
MatrikonOPC Simulation Server is a free utility used to help test and troubleshoot OPC applications (clients) and connections. Testing applications on “live” OPC servers may result in loss of actual production data. The MatrikonOPC Simulation Server creates an simulated environment so that in the event of a problem, no real process data is lost.
Dowload and install it:
Lets open Matricon:
If you have a connection to a live running OPC server Matricon will pick that up and lets you view the tags or data.
Here we just have the built-in simulation, lets add som random tags / data from the simulation OPC:
And here is the values: