Thursday, November 22, 2012

KEPServerEX OPC Connectivity Suite

I just plunked down some dough for Kepware's KEPServerEX OPC Connectivity Suite. Actually, it was a part of a project for a client, but nonetheless, Kepware makes one of the best OPC servers in the business.

Read this intro to OPC.

So if you've got "Islands of Automation," that is, a diverse ecosystem of PLC and DCS vendors as a part of your operations, getting these systems to talk to PI with OPC is the best way to go.

Most operations aren't intelligently designed from Day 1. Operations tend to evolve. People come and go. Corporations make mid-course corrections to their strategy and even the best automation systems evolve into silos of automation.

OPC breaks down these silos and enables communications, and none better than Kepware's KEPServerEX.

kepserver opc diagram
Each modern PLC vendor writes an OPC Server for their PLC. In the diagram to the left, those are the blue computers at the bottom.

The OPC Server allows OPC clients to connect and get data. This is where the KEPServerEX OPC Connectivity Suite comes in. One part of the server is an OPC Client (the yellow puzzle piece in the diagram).

And the other part of the KEPServer is the OPC Server. In a sense, this makes the KEPServerEX the "One-stop-shopping" for OPC data.

So from here, you get to send the data to wherever you want to go.

Biotech/pharma companies typically choose OSIsoft's PI System. And to connect there, you just need the PI OPC Interface, which is an OPC client.

You could've connected PI directly to the OPC Server of the PLCs, and a lot of people do. But if you want a separation of duties between your systems, Kepware OPC is where I've seen a lot of people meet success.

But here's the really cool part. Kepware has impeccable technical support. They're a small company so you're not getting routed around the globe for your tech support calls... you're usually talking to the same guy to follow your issue to solution.

Evaluating their systems is worth your while if you're looking to upgrade your automation.

Download Demo

Disclosure: I have no business relationship with Kepware and receive nothing if you buy their products.  Also, I didn't get paid anything to write this post.

1 comment:

Robert Sharp said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with our support team.