OPC UA to OPC UA translator


A machine should communicate via OPC UA with an industrial PC, but both are incompatible. A MICA with an OPC UA container as a client is used to create a quick solution by translating between the devices.

Objective

• Interconnecting incompatible hardware and software
• Quickly solving real world problems

Scope of Services

• Rapid prototyping
• MICA Basic
• Linux container: node.js, OPC UA

Benefits

• Minimal effort (48 hours, less than 1,500 €)
• Direct implementation from rapid prototyping into real-world operation

The problem: OPC UA versions are incompatible

Die UPC UA Version einer Maschine kann nicht mit der Version eins Industrie PCs kommunizieren
The OPC UA version on a machine cannot communicate with a different version on an Industrial PC

A newly delivered injection moulding machine must be integrated into the company-wide IT system using a standard industrial PC (a soft PLC). Although they are from different manufacturers, both devices are capable of OPC UA, so it should be easy to connect them. After the project started, it turned out that the two OPC UA implementations were incompatible; the standard IPC clients could not exchange data with the OPC UA server on the injection moulding machine. After a thorough investigation by all three participating companies, bugs were found in the implementation of the data definitions. A solution on the OPC UA server side would have taken several months.

The solution: the MICA communicates with both versions as a client

A quick test revealed that an OPC UA container on the MICA could communicate with both devices. Both devices were then configured as OPC UA servers; the MICA, configured as a client, was put in the middle. The node.js OPC UA container on the MICA was used as an intermediary between the incompatible devices.

Since the MICA has been tested according to industrial and railway standards, after the rapid prototyping there is no need for migration to an industrial platform. The MICA was installed directly from the developer’s desk in the production hall and has been running without problems since then.

MICA dient als OPC UA Client, Maschine und Industrie PC sind OPC UA Server
The MICA works as the OPC UA client; the machine and industrial PC are the OPC UA servers

About Us

Author Lars Hohmuth
Telephone +49 5772 47-7093