The LIBPF OPC (Open Process Connectivity) module is an extension to LIBPF to add plant control system connectivity to model-based solutions developed with the LIBPF process modeling technology.

Architecture

LIBPF OPC connects to the plant control system as an OPC client via the Classic OPC compliant Data Access server (OPC DA) protocol.

Classic OPC is the de-facto standard (http://www.opcfoundation.org) interface for real-time data exchange with field automation in the process industry.

Using this vendor-independent multi-platform interface with the plant control system LIBPF OPC can easily talk to:

  • PLC (Programmable Logic Controller);

  • DCS (Distributed Control System);

  • Real-time databases;

  • SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems.

A sample architecture for an application based on LIBPF OPC, where it is interfaced to the SCADA is:

architecture

Such an application would typically operate as a Windows service when in production, while a console mode is available for testing.

Have a look at this demo video which demonstrates installing and running a LIBPF OPC application on Windows 7:

Troubleshooting tools are available:

  • a tracing facility with tunable verbosity for diagnostic messages based on an operating system level communication protocol (named pipes);

  • the operating system event log for information, warning and error messages.

Two operation modes are possible:

  1. In an event-driven configuration the service will sit and wait for update events from the OPC server; when one such event is signaled, it triggers execution.

  2. In a timed-execution configuration the service will start the execution at regular intervals.

Applications

  • First-principle Soft Sensors;

  • Data reconciliation based on mass and energy balances;

  • Pilot Plant monitoring;

  • Process diagnostic (heat exchanger fouling, catalyst or electrode deactivation).

Features

  • Runs on Microsoft Windows Vista, Server 2008 and Windows 7; Windows XP and Server 2003 support available on request;

  • Compatible with OPC DA 2.0 client specification;

  • Simple and compact architecture;

  • Works with any PLC, DCS, real-time database and SCADA;

  • Configure with a single XML file;

  • 1 .. 10 .. 100 soft-sensors in one server;

  • Flexible and extensible.

Documentation

For more information, have a look at the LIBPF™ OPC Installation manual (English and Italian, and the LIBPF™ OPC Maintenance and user manual (English and Italian).